London, Oct 1 (IANS) Adolescents who perform just eight to 10 minutes of high-intensity exercise three times a week could be significantly reducing their risk of developing a heart condition, new research has found.

Currently, it is recommended that teenagers perform a minimum of 60 minutes of daily exercise to prevent future disease.

“We know that activity levels drop significantly as children reach adolescence, and so far attempts to increase this to an hour a day have proved fruitless,” said lead researcher Alan Barker from University of Exeter in England.

“This study indicates that, providing the intensity is high, health benefits are achievable with just 8-10 minutes of exercise,” Barker noted.

The team asked school children aged between 13 and 14 to carry out six high-intensity workouts over two weeks.

They were asked to cycle in high-speed bursts of one minute, with a 75 second break in between. They started with eight bursts and built up to ten over the two weeks.

The results showed that the training improved both blood vessel function and the brain’s ability to control the beating of the heart.

Both of these measures are considered to be important markers of cardiovascular disease, which is the leading cause of death in Britain.

The findings appeared in the American Journal of Physiology – Heart and Circulatory Physiology.