What is it about?

Arterial stiffness is one of the first signs of arteriosclerosis. Arteriosclerosis is a condition where arteries lose their flexibility and elasticity. We showed that children who had more brisk physical activity also had more elastic and flexible arteries. We also found that children achieving at least 70 minutes of brisk physical activity daily had healthier arteries compared to those with less daily physical activty. Sedentary time, such as sitting or lying, or lower intensity physical activity, such as easy walking, were not related to arterial health.

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Why is it important?

Arteriosclerosis has its origing in childhood and arterial stiffening have been observed already in children. Our findings that brisk physical activity that makes children huff and puff was linked to healthier arteries suggest that promoting children's physical activity since mid-childhood may prevent or delay the onset of cardiovascular diseases in adulthood.


Cardiovascular diseases cause problems usually in middle-aged and older adults and many may think that they are not problem in children. However, children grow and get older; by promoting physically active lifestyle they grow healthy and active adults. Getting kids moving is caring.

Dr. Eero Haapala
University of Jyväskylä

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Associations of Objectively Measured Physical Activity and Sedentary Time With Arterial Stiffness in Pre-Pubertal Children, Pediatric Exercise Science, August 2017, Human Kinetics,
DOI: 10.1123/pes.2016-0168.
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