Jun 14, 2022
Twenty Minutes of Daily Physical Activity Advised for Teens

Twenty minutes a day. That’s all it takes to be a healthy young person, according to a recent study.

Twenty minutes of daily vigorous physical activity (VPA) seems to be best for maximizing cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) in adolescents, according to a study entitled, “Intensity and Duration of Physical Activity and Cardiorespiratory Fitness,” published online on June 13 in Pediatrics. The study was conducted by Samuel Joseph Burden.

twentyNoting that there is no clear guidance on the intensity and duration of PA that  require to maximize CRF, Burden, from the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, England, and colleagues examined the strength of association between each PA intensity and CRF. PA was assessed by wrist-worn accelerometers, and CRF was assessed with 20-m shuttle runs among 339 adolescents aged 13 to 14 years.

The researchers found that up to about 20 minutes of daily VPA, greater VPA was associated with better CRF, at which point the association plateaued. In partial models, there were no associations between moderate and light PA and sedentary time with CRF. Median CRF was seen for adolescents performing 14 minutes of daily VPA. Participants in the upper versus the lower quartile of VPA had 1.03 z-scores higher CRF (95 percent confidence interval, 0.75 to 1.30).

“This modest duration and more specific  of PA may provide a better underpinning for future guidelines that currently recommend a longer duration of less specific activity (moderate to vigorous physical activity) each day,” the authors write. “Further work should aim to test whether interventions based on this new target offer significant improvements in  cardiometabolic health.”

To read the full study from Pediatrics and the study entitled, “Intensity and Duration of Physical Activity and Cardiorespiratory Fitness,” click here. 

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