For elementary schoolchildren, just 15 minutes of daily exercise improves lung health

Setting aside just 15 minutes a day to walk or run led to improvements in lung function among a group of elementary schoolchildren after only three months, a team of University of Florida College of Public Health and Health Professions faculty and student researchers found.

While the health benefits that resulted from exercise were not entirely a surprise, says the study’s lead author Arch Mainous III, Ph.D., “It was very gratifying that in a relatively short period of time and in a noninvasive, nonintensive program, we could still see positive health effects.”

For the study, which was published in the journal Family Medicine, UF researchers evaluated the pulmonary function of children who participated in a daily 15-minute exercise period of walking, jogging or running outside from September to December 2022. The children who participated in the daily exercise improved their lung function more than 10% during the fall semester, while children at a comparison school in the same community that did not participate in the program saw no difference in lung function.


Jill Pease August 24, 2023