15 minutes of physical activity linked to a longer life

sdodge Playing sports In a busy schedule it can be tough. However, new research suggests that just 15 minutes of physical activity over the course of a week is linked to a lower risk of early death compared to no exercise at all — as long as movement pumps your heart.

In the study, published October 27 in European Heart Journal, The researchers used a data set to track nearly 72,000 people in the UK, aged 40 to 69 who had no cardiovascular disease or cancer at enrollment, for about seven years. The researchers focused on a week at the start of the study during which each person wore an activity tracker on their wrist. People who didn’t exercise vigorously during that week had a 4% risk of dying at some point during the study, but for people who got in at least 10 minutes, that risk was halved. Among people who got 60 minutes or more, this risk was reduced to 1%. Overall, the researchers estimated that getting 15 to 20 minutes of vigorous physical activity per week was associated with a 16% to 40% reduced risk of death.

It is not surprising that the more time people spend doing vigorous physical activity, the greater the longevity benefit. Matthew Ahmadi, a research fellow at the University of Sydney in Australia and lead author of the study, says the “nice point” that people benefited the most was about 60 minutes a week. (This does not mean that exercise longer than an hour was necessarily worse, Ahmadi noted; because the study did not include many people with stronger physical activity, the potential maximum benefits of getting more intense physical activity are unknown.)

Read more: Struggling to get back into your exercise routine? These five strategies can help

Even if people don’t have time to go to the gym, the study shows it’s possible to get health benefits from daily activities because short-term exercise can add up, Ahmadi says. He suggests increasing your pace or working more intensely on the things you already do – for example, walking, gardening, or even doing housework. “Any physical activity that a person does provides an opportunity for vigorous physical activity, if they can do that activity at a faster pace or at a higher intensity for only short periods of time,” he says. He notes that what counts as vigorous physical activity varies with your level of fitness, but a good sign that you’re doing it is that you’re having a hard time holding a conversation.

Similar note study, Also published on October 27 in European Heart Journal by a different group of researchersAnd the It also indicates that the intensity of physical activity – not just the time spent in motion – is important for Reduce cardiovascular disease. In the study, which also looked at adults of the same age in the same UK data set, researchers followed about 88,000 people for about seven years.

After analyzing data from the week that people used activity trackers, the researchers found that doing more intense physical activity was associated with fewer cardiovascular disease in people, even without increasing the amount of time people exercised. For example, people who walked briskly for seven minutes instead of 14 minutes during that week were less likely to develop cardiovascular disease later.

Both studies were observational, meaning the research cannot prove that physical activity is the reason people who did it lived longer — or had less cardiovascular disease — than those who didn’t. The physical activity week was just a snapshot of time, and people’s habits may have changed later. However, other studies have also found that short periods of movement can reduce the risk of death. one 2011 study Posted in Lancet It found that just 15 minutes of physical activity per day can reduce the risk of early death. 2014 study In the Journal of the American College of Cardiology I found that just 5 to 10 minutes of running per day can reduce early death from any cause.

The new research doesn’t mean the overall time you spend moving isn’t important, says Paddy Dempsey, author of the Cardiovascular Disease Study and a research fellow at the University of Cambridge. People with the lowest rates of cardiovascular disease had more physical activity overall and moderate to vigorous physical activity.

despite Any movement has valueIf you’re time constrained, Dempsey says, “Adding a bit of intensity can provide unique health benefits, while potentially making workouts more time efficient.”

More must-read stories from TIME

call us at letter@time.com.

Leave a Comment