They found that physical activity in children as young as three years old benefits blood vessel health, cardiovascular fitness and is key to the prevention of early risk indicators that can lead to adult heart disease.
The study, named "Health Outcomes and Physical activity in Preschoolers," published today in the journal Pediatrics, is the first to demonstrate the benefits of physical activity on blood vessel health in preschoolers.
Disease - Hits - Age - Arteries - Nicole
"Many of us tend to think cardiovascular disease hits in older age, but arteries begin to stiffen when we are very young," explains Nicole Proudfoot, a graduate student in the Department of Kinesiology at McMaster University and lead author on the study.
"It's important to start any kind of preventative measures early. We need to ensure small children have many opportunities to be active to keep their hearts and blood vessels as healthy as possible," she says.
Children - Ages - Study - Course - Years
More than 400 children between the ages of three and five were involved in the study. Over the course of three years, the researchers measured and analyzed key markers of heart health: cardiovascular fitness, arterial stiffness and blood pressure.
The researchers calculated cardiovascular fitness by measuring how long the children could last on a treadmill test and how fast their heart rates recovered after exercise. They measured arterial stiffness by how fast their pulse traveled through their body and used ultrasound imaging to measure the stiffness of the carotid artery. They also measured blood pressure.
Activity - Year - Children - Accelerometer - Waist
They tracked physical activity each year by having the children wear an accelerometer around their waist for one week, allowing researchers...
Wake Up To Breaking News!
Drove my Ford to the fjord, but the fjord was dry. . .