‘Obesity is only half the story’
She wants children to have the best chance to grow into healthy, happy adults. Critical factor for success: a healthy lifestyle. Mai Chin A Paw is always seeing new opportunities to make things happen. ‘We need to ask kids to share their own ideas.’
Sufficient exercise is all well and good, but sitting still for long periods every day can still damage health. Adults who sit for prolonged periods every day have an increased risk of many afflictions, even if they get moderate to strenuous exercise for at least half an hour a day. It is unclear whether this also applies to children, but Mai Chin A Paw is deeply engaged in research to discover whether this is the case. Human movement scientist and epidemiologist Mai Chin A Paw (born 1968) received grants totalling 675,000 euros from NWO and ZonMw to conduct groundbreaking research into this topic. She is conducting epidemiological studies to examine the link between sedentary lifestyles and health indicators such as obesity, body fat percentage, motor fitness, cholesterol and glucose levels. Her research group is studying European youngsters to see which factors determine whether or not children sit still for prolonged periods, and why they do so. Finally, the project also involves laboratory research into the biological mechanisms behind the potential negative effects of prolonged periods of sitting.
Mai Chin A Paw gave her inaugural lecture on June 3, 2014.