Children can get the same benefit from frequent bouts of sporadic activity instead of long exercise sessions, a new study has shown.
For the study, researchers at the University of Exeter measured the frequency, intensity and duration of bouts of physical activity in a group of children and analysed the results against a number of health indicators.
The results highlighted that the associations between children's activity and health were similar regardless of how the child accumulated the activity.
In other words, a child who accumulated short bursts of moderate or vigorous exercise throughout the day was just as healthy as a child who did a similar amount of activity over longer sessions.
The researchers believe their findings have positive implications, as children are more likely to engage in short bursts of activity than complete longer bouts of exercise.
"Our study suggests that physical activity is associated with health, irrespective of whether it is accumulated in short bursts or long bouts," lead researcher Michelle Stone, a PhD student at the University of Exeter, said.
The study focused on 47 boys, aged between eight and ten, the majority of who were all in good health and within a healthy weight range.
The study is published in the International Journal of Paediatric Obesity.