According to the results of a recent international research conducted by the Spanish scientist David Jiménez-Pavón, from the University of Zaragoza, to perform a daily physical activity during childhood, especially if starting at six years of age and before nine , decreases the chances of developing cardiovascular diseases.
The study, which was published in 'BMC Medicine', aimed to analyze the association between physical activity and the main cardiovascular risk factors, such as systolic blood pressure, triglyceride level, resistance to insulin, the volume of body fat, the total cholesterol-HDL cholesterol ratio, and the aerobic capacity.
The risk factors that promote the development of cardiovascular pathologies are lower in children who perform daily physical activity
The researchers, who have relied on data from 3,120 children (1,016 aged between 2 and 6 years old, and 2,104, aged 6 to 9) included in the European study 'IDEFICS' on obesity and nutrition, have observed that the risk factors for developing a cardiovascular pathology are between 2.5 and 5 times higher in those children - and up to 7 times higher in the case of girls - that have lower levels of physical activity.
Other important conclusions obtained from the 'IDEFICS' study are that the risk of childhood overweight and obesity increases if children sleep less than nine hours a day, and that the rates of childhood obesity in southern Europe are higher than those of the countries of the world. North of the continent due, above all, to a sedentary lifestyle and the abandonment of the Mediterranean diet.
According to the results of the work, its authors have indicated that health professionals should recommend that children perform between 60 and 85 minutes per day of moderate to intense physical activity.