Saturday, October 20, 2018
  • share this

Teens need vigorous exercise to reduce heart disease risk later in life

/ 07:30 PM February 04, 2018

Image: monkeybusinessimages/ via AFP Relaxnews

New research in the United Kingdom has found that moderate exercise may not be enough for reducing a teenager’s risk of heart disease later in life, and that despite current guidelines, the intensity needs to be increased in order to reduce risk factors.

A team of researchers from the University of Exeter looked at 534 teenagers aged 12 to 17 from a variety of European countries to look at the difference between moderate activity and vigorous activity on health.


Moderate activity is defined as using at least three times the energy a person would use while at rest, and includes activities such as brisk walking, while vigorous means using at least six times the resting level and includes activities such as aerobic dancing, cycling, swimming and tennis.

“Many previous studies have put moderate and vigorous physical activity together when looking at potential health benefits, as this is what health guidelines are based on,” explained Dr. Alan Barker, from the University of Exeter.


For example, current NHS guidelines in the U.K. suggest that children and teenagers aged 5 to 18 years old should do at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity each day to improve their current and future health.

However, in the new research the team wanted to look at the intensity levels separately to assess whether the effects differed.

They found that moderate activity and vigorous activity had a significantly different effect on health, with only vigorous activity making a significant impact on risk factors that raise the chance of cardiovascular disease, such as body mass index (BMI) and waist size.

“Moderate activity has many health benefits, but in specific terms of reducing risk factors for cardiovascular disease, it’s vigorous activity that appears to make a difference,” commented Dr. Barker.

Vigorous activity is important for developing cardiovascular and muscular fitness, which although partly genetic can also be boosted by exercise, with both key factors for reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the researchers also found a strong link between time spent watching TV and risk factors for developing diabetes or heart disease in later life.

Cardiovascular disease, which is a general term for all diseases of the heart and circulation, including coronary heart disease, angina, heart attack, congenital heart disease and stroke, causes more than a quarter of all deaths in the U.K. Although extremely rare in young people, the process that leads to developing a form of cardiovascular disease can “track all the way back to childhood,” explained Dr. Barker, meaning that setting healthy habits in younger years can help prevent health problems later in life.


The findings can be found published online in the International Journal of Cardiology. JB


World Cancer Day: How healthy lifestyle changes could help lower your risk of cancer

How a little alcohol could help ‘clean’ the brain

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Exercise, Heart disease, sedentary lifestyle, Teens, TV
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

Bea Alonzo transcends ‘First Love’s’ ambiguities

October 21, 2018 12:40 AM


Why Sofia skips her beauty routine

October 21, 2018 12:30 AM


Caitriona Balfe on intimate ‘Outlander’ scenes

October 21, 2018 12:25 AM


Jennifer Laude docu on a roll

October 21, 2018 12:20 AM


Snake names honor Darwin, fire god, Louisiana professor

October 21, 2018 12:09 AM

© Copyright 1997-2018 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.