New daily exercise advice for children

One hour of exercise a day is not enough


European researchers from the University of Zaragoza in Spain reporting in the BMC Medicine Journal concluded that the current one-hour-a-day exercise guide might be too lenient. The current NHS guide is for 60 minutes’ exercise a day for both boys and girls.


3000 young children were studied and the conclusion was that the researchers could already detect signs of future cardiovascular disease. The indicators of potential cardiovascular disease are blood pressure levels, cholesterol and skinfold thickness.

Whilst the NHS suggests 60 minutes’ exercise daily, this new study advises that boys aged two to five need to be active for 70 minutes a day, 20 minutes of which should be ‘vigorous’, increasing to 80 minutes from the age of six. Girls aged two to ten should indeed exercise for an hour a day, but again, this should include 20 minutes’ more vigorous exercise.

The researchers believed that the guidelines needed to be more specific than the current one-size-fits-all for daily exercise amounts. 

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