Exercise and physical activity (PA) have been shown to be effective, safe and feasible in both healthy children and children with congenital heart disease (CHD). However, implementing exercise training as an intervention is still not routine in children with CHD despite considerable evidence of health benefits and well-being. Understanding how children with CHD can safely participate in exercise can boost participation in PA and subsequently reduce inactivity-related diseases. Home-based exercise intervention, with the use of personal wearable activity trackers, and high-intensity interval training have been beneficial in adults’ cardiac rehabilitation programmes. However, these remain underutilised in paediatric care. Therefore, the aims of this narrative review were to synthesise prescribed exercise interventions in children with CHD, identify possible limitation to exercise training prescription and provide an overview on how to best integrate exercise intervention effectively for this population into daily practice.
Data availability statement
All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information. All data are included in the article.
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Contributors NHA conceptualised, performed the literature review and wrote the manuscript. DMD and CAW edited and revised the manuscript. MC, AGS, GEP and CAW conceived the idea, conceptualised, and edited and revised the manuscript.
Funding NHA is supported by a doctoral scholarship from the Government of Malaysia under the agency of Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA). DMD is supported by a doctoral scholarship (grant MR/N0137941/1 for the GW4 BIOMED DTP, awarded to the Universities of Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter from the Medical Research Council (MRC)/UKRI). CAW is supported by an industrial PhD scholarship from the University of Exeter and Canon Medical Systems UK.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.