PARENTS

Kids Only Need 10 Minutes Of Intense Exercise To Maintain Their Health

04/12/2017 11:37 EDT | Updated 04/12/2017 11:37 EDT

If you can't get your video game-loving kid to go out and exercise for 60 minutes a day, don't fret.

A new study, published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, found that kids need just 10 minutes of intense activity to reap the physical and mental benefits of exercise.

According to Health Day, the researchers examined 11,600 kids between the ages of four and 18 and discovered that mini bursts of activity were more beneficial in children with larger waists and higher insulin levels.

overweight child

"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," the study's lead author Justin Moore said in a news release.

"If such studies provide robust results, a relatively brief but intense dose of physical activity — perhaps as little as 10 minutes day, which is certainly feasible for most youth — could turn out to be part of a 'prescription' for children to achieve or maintain cardiac and metabolic health."

Still, Moore notes more research is needed to determine how big of a factor fitness plays in disease prevention in youth, since diet and genetics also play a role.

Childhood obesity has been steadily increasing in Canada since 1978. And the World Health Organization estimates 70 million youth will be overweight or obese by 2025.

So while your child might only need 10 minutes, it couldn't hurt to play outdoors a little more.

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