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The cardiovascular benefits of daily exercise in school children are evident even after one year
Date:5/8/2009

gnificant beneficial effect on body composition, exercise capacity and cardiovascular risk markers in children," says Dr Walther, who adds that follow-up over the next 10-20 years will give some idea of how risk modification at this young age translates into benefit later in life.

The "most surprising" result, she says, was the effect of daily exercise on body weight, an effect not found so marked or so soon in other studies. "These are normal children," explains Dr Walther, "so we didn't expect such a significant reduction in the overall prevalence of obesity or excess weight."

Such findings have also raised local interest in Germany, where the investigators hope to extend the study to other neighbouring towns, and eventually to a daily exercise programme incorporated into the basic school curriculum.

"It's so easy," says Dr Walther. "All it needs is a little more time allocated to exercise lessons. The teachers are there, they supervise, and they all seem enthusiastic. If we can include daily exercise in the school curriculum, I'm sure we'll see an effect."


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