Sprinting to Health at School: Metabolic Effects of High-Intensity Exercise during Childhood

Although the health benefits of childhood exercise are compelling and often extend into adulthood, daily exercise recommendations are often not met. To investigate the effect of school-based exercise on cardio-metabolic health, researchers at Loughborough University had 19 adolescent boys accumulate very-short duration sprint exercise (10, 30-meter sprints for a bout duration of less than five minutes) during four natural breaks in the school day: before and after school, as well as during recess and lunch.

Even after this small amount of high-intensity exercise, insulin concentrations were reduced on the day of exercise and triacyglycerol (fat) concentrations were lowered the next day. These encouraging findings suggest that short, high-effort exercise sessions hold much promise in the fight against low levels of physical activity and associated metabolic disorder during youth. Children are well equipped for high-intensity activity and should be encouraged to engage in challenging exercise as often as possible at school. View the article