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Physical Activity Associates with 40% Reduction in Risks of Early Death

Posted Nov 12 2011 10:13pm
Posted on 2011-11-09 06:00:02 in Exercise | Longevity |
Physical Activity Associates with 40% Reduction in Risks of Early Death

Whereas The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that individuals complete 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week, to help protect against chronic diseases and premature death, few people actually engage in such a commitment.  Guenther Samitz, from the University of Vienna (Austria), and colleagues conducted as a systematic review involving 7,000 relevant studies reporting data collected on over 1.3 million study participants from Europe, Canada, United States, and Asia.  Whereas higher levels of physical activity were associated with reduced all-cause mortality, regardless whether in job, daily living, leisure or active transportation, the team observed that the association was higher for leisure time physical activity and activities of daily living, and mortality reductions were more pronounced in women when compared with men. Women and older persons even had a survival benefit when engaging in regular light- to moderate-intensity activities of daily living, e.g. domestic work, gardening, walking or bicycling to the shopping mall. In a second step, the investigators quantified the mortality benefit in dependence upon the physical activity dose per week. For light- to moderate intensity activities of daily living, e.g. housework, gardening, stair climbing, walking and bicycling for transportation, an increase of one hour per week compared to no physical activity was associated with a reduction in mortality of 4%. For moderate-intensity leisure activities (e.g. Nordic walking, hiking, social dance) the risk reduction increased to 6%, and with vigorous-intensity aerobic activity or sports (e.g. jogging, bicycling (>10 miles per hour), tennis, ball sport), the reduction in all-cause mortality was even 9% per one hour increment per week. The greatest reductions in mortality risks were achieved in completing 300 minutes of exercise a week which corresponded to 19% risk reduction for moderate-intensity activities, and 39% for of daily living for vigorous-intensity aerobic activity and sports. The researchers write that: “Higher levels of total and domain-specific physical activity were associated with reduced all-cause mortality. Risk reduction per unit of time increase was largest for vigorous exercise.”

Guenther Samitz, Matthias Egger, Marcel Zwahlen.  “Domains of physical activity and all-cause mortality: systematic review and dose–response meta-analysis of cohort studies”  Int. J. Epidemiol., September 5, 2011.

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