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Total Exercise Time Trumps Frequency

Posted Jul 23 2013 10:08pm

Whereas previous physical activity guidelines recommended that adults be active on most or all days of the week, the current guidelines from the World Health Organization recommend that adults accumulate 150 minutes or more per week, of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, with no recommendation for frequency.  Ian Janssen, from Queens University (Canada), and colleagues studied 2,324 adults from across Canada, with subjects wearing accelerometers on their waists. The team determined that adults who accumulated 150 minutes of exercise on a few days of the week were not any less healthy than adults who exercised more frequently throughout the week. The study authors conclude that: “The frequency of physical activity throughout the week was not independently associated with the [Metabolic Syndrome] among active adults. Conversely, the weekly volume of [moderate-to-vigorous physical activity] was strongly associated with the [Metabolic Syndrome].”

Janine Clarke, Ian Janssen.  “Is the frequency of weekly moderate-to-vigorous physical activity associated with the metabolic syndrome in Canadian adults?”  Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, 2013, 38(7): 773-778.

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Anti-Aging Forum MLDP Join A4M
Tip #192 - Stay Connected
Researchers from the University of Chicago (Illinois, USA) report that social isolation may be detrimental to both mental and physical health. The team analyzed data from the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project, a nationwide US study involving 3,000 men and women, ages 57 to 85 years. They arrived at three key findings regarding the relationships between health and different types of isolation:

• The researchers found that the most socially connected older adults are three times as likely to report very good or excellent health compared to those who are least connected, regardless of whether they feel isolated.

• The team found that older adults who feel least isolated are five times as likely to report very good or excellent health as those who feel most isolated, regardless of their actual level of social connectedness.

• They determined that social disconnectedness is not related to mental health unless it brings feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Separately, Rush University Medical Center (Illinois, USA) researchers studied 906 older men and women, testing their motor functions (including grip, pinch strength, balance, and walking) and surveying their social activity, for a period of 5 years. Those study participants with less social activity were found to have a more rapid rate of motor function decline. Specifically, the team found that every one-point decrease in social activity corresponded to an increase in functional aging of 5 years, translating to a 40% higher risk of death and 65% higher risk of disability.

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