Researches and scientists at Indiana State University conducted a small study involving 6 through 8 year olds. In one trial the children moved 3-pound blocks, and then moved unweighted blocks in the other trial. It was found in the trial where the children moved the heavier blocks they burned more calories, had higher heart rates, and higher breathing rates.
So the question at hand is could children with heavier toys benefit health wise in the long run? Could this solve childhood obesity?
Scientists and health psychologists agree that this will not completely dissolve childhood obesity, but it may be a good start, especially if the children start using weighted toys before their first birthday. Heavier toys will also increase strength, balance, and coordination and will kick-start a child’s healthy development.
Obesity rates have increased severly over the past 40 years in the United States. One-third of the adolescent population in the United States is overweight, and 17 percent of those children are obese. Many scientists and researchers agree that health and fitness should be started as early as possible, and weighted toys will help.
A main concern with weighted toys is that children may be prone to hurting themselves. They could strain their developing muscles and bones by trying to lift more than their lifting capacity. With this in mind, not all toys would be weighted the same.
But while this idea shows healthy and positive results, it is not expected that weighted toys will hit toy stores anytime soon. More research has to be conducted, and scientists plan on conducting more trails and even making weighted teddy bears and toys to be used in physical therapy trials.