A sedentary lifestyle could increase the risks of developing environmentally induced asthma symptoms. In a recent study, inactive rats exposed to various degrees of ozone, a category of air pollution, scored higher markers for chronic disease when compared to active rats.
The research, published in the American Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology, showed that lack of activity could encourage asthma development caused by environmental conditions.
Environmentally Induced Asthma, Encouraged By Sedentary Life
As part of the research, young rats were separated into two different groups. The first was given free access to a running wheel and was considered active in the context of the study. The second one was not given the possibility to exercise, thus being considered sedentary.
In the study, the observation period lasted for seven weeks, during which the active rodents were given the possibility to exercise at all times, while the sedentary counterparts focused on eating and sleeping.
When the observation period was over, both groups of rodents were exposed to either filtered air or three distinct levels of ozone concentration. The total number of hours was 10 in two consecutive days.
The team then analyzed markers such as breathing frequency and volume, as well as glucose tolerance and cells from the bronchial fluid of both groups, after the exposure.
Pulmonary inflammatory responses were seen in mice who were sedentary, judging by the increase in neutrophils, the white blood cells that are in charge with fighting infection, and eosinophils, the white blood cells that suggest allergies or infections.
While both groups of rats recorded elevation in the levels of these cells, the sedentary group had the significantly higher increase.
Health Issue - Young Generations Are Too Sedentary
The research highlights the importance of exercise especially during childhood, when habits are formed.
"Such a study could highlight the importance of a model of childhood sedentary versus active lifestyle and effects on susceptibility as an adult," noted the research.
The situation is all the more serious since children often lack a proper exercising routine. Moreover, previous studies have suggested that toddlers are not getting enough exercise either, and their parents should focus on inducing more healthy habits in their children's schedules.
As many as nine in 10 toddlers are subjected to less exercise than the normal amount for their age, according to studies.
Shifting the scientific interest towards investigating these kinds of unhealthy habits could significantly improve awareness and encourage adults to shape younger generations as to become less sedentary.