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Sharp bursts of activity recommended

4th November 2008

Research from the University of Glamorgan has suggested that exercising "like a child in a playground" could be more beneficial than taking a jog or cycle ride.

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The team found short bursts of activity lasting a maximum of 30 seconds could equate to five hours of exercise per week.

They said the most recent statistics showed that in 2007 29% of adults in Wales stated that they carried out 30 minutes of "moderate intensity activity at least five days a week".

41% of primary school children and around a quarter of secondary school children in Wales reached the activity target of an hour's exercise per day.

The team looked at exercise models and compared shorter bursts of sprinting with extended types of exercise, such as going for a jog or bike ride.

Professor Julien Baker, who carried out the study with Professor Bruce Davies, said: "Six 30-second sprints three times a week can have the same health and weight-loss benefits as jogging or cycling for up to 45 minutes several times a week."

Professor Baker said sprinting for 30m to 100m sprint, for a duration of 30 seconds, then resting for four minutes was good for health.

He said this type of exercise could be "more practical" and useful for children who were overweight.

Professor Baker added that "research carried out in the laboratory has shown significant reductions in post exercise blood pressure" for shorter bursts of activity.

 

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