Washington : Ten minutes of high-intensity physical activity every day may help some children reduce their risk of developing heart problems and metabolic diseases such as diabetes, a new study claims.
Researchers from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Centre in the US found that replacing light-intensity physical activity with brief periods of vigorous exercise may provide significant cardiometabolic benefits in young people with relatively large waist measurements and elevated levels of insulin in their blood.
Researchers analysed data from about 11,588 young people aged between 4 and 18 in the US, Brazil and European countries.
Records that included the child's age, gender, level of physical activity and at least one biomarker - a measurable indicator of a medical state or condition - of a cardiometabolic risk were focused on.
These included weight circumference, systolic and diastolic blood pressure and bloodstream levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, triglycerides, glucose and insulin.
Researchers found only 32 significant associations out of a possible 360 while evaluating the relationships between the biomarkers and vigorous physical activity when controlling for various factors including age, gender, duration and level of exercise and sedentary time.
All 32 were related to reduced waist circumference and insulin levels. The relationships between high-intensity exercise and the other biomarkers were inconsistent.
"The results suggest that substituting modest amounts of vigorous physical activity for longer-duration light exercise may have cardiometabolic benefits above and beyond those conveyed by moderate activity and the avoidance of sedentary behaviour," said Justin B Moore, associate professor at Wake Forest Baptist.
"But as vigorous activity was independently associated with only two of the markers examined, it may be that its truly meaningful benefits may be limited, relative to less-intense exercise," Moore added.
The study was published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise.