Recommendations for physical activity, recreation sport, and exercise training in paediatric patients with congenital heart disease: a report from the Exercise, Basic & Translational Research Section of the European Association of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation, the European Congenital Heart and Lung Exercise Group, and the Association for European Paediatric Cardiology

Eur J Prev Cardiol. 2012 Oct;19(5):1034-65. doi: 10.1177/1741826711420000.


All children have a natural need to move, play, and perform activities. Physical activity is necessary for optimal physical, emotional, and psychosocial development for healthy children as well as children with congenital heart disease (CHD). In this paper we provide recommendations for physical activity, recreational sport, and exercise training in children and adolescents with CHD. In general, children with CHD should be advised to comply with public health recommendations of daily participation in 60 min or more of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity that is developmentally appropriate and enjoyable and involves a variety of activities. While all patients with CHD can participate and benefit from physical activity and exercise, those with specific lesions or complications may require counselling regarding precautions and recommendations.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiology
  • Child
  • Europe
  • Exercise / physiology
  • Exercise Therapy / standards*
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / prevention & control*
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / rehabilitation*
  • Humans
  • Pediatrics
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic*
  • Public Health
  • Recreation / physiology*
  • Societies, Medical
  • Sports / physiology*
  • Translational Research, Biomedical*