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Links Between Long-Term Physical Activity and Mortality Studied

Last Updated: July 25, 2022.

MONDAY, July 25, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- The nearly maximal benefit in mortality reduction may be achieved by performing about 150 to 300 minutes/week of long-term leisure-time vigorous physical activity (VPA), 300 to 600 minutes/week of long-term leisure-time moderate physical activity (MPA), or an equivalent combination, according to a study published online July 25 in Circulation.

Dong Hoon Lee, Sc.D., from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, and colleagues analyzed 116,221 adults from two large prospective cohorts to examine whether higher levels of long-term VPA and MPA are associated with lower mortality.

The researchers identified 47,569 deaths during 30 years of follow-up. The hazard ratios comparing individuals meeting the long-term leisure-time VPA guideline (75 to 149 minutes/week) versus no VPA were 0.81, 0.69, and 0.85 for all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality, and non-CVD mortality, respectively, in analyses mutually adjusted for MPA and VPA. Similarly, meeting the long-term leisure-time MPA guideline (150 to 299 minutes/week) was associated with a 19 to 25 percent lower risk for all-cause, CVD, and non-CVD mortality. Participants who reported two to four times above the recommended minimum of long-term leisure-time VPA or MPA showed 2 to 4 and 3 to 13 percent lower mortality, respectively, compared with those meeting the long-term leisure-time physical activity guidelines. There was no clear indication of lower all-cause, CVD, and non-CVD mortality or harm observed for higher levels of either long-term leisure-time VPA (≥300 minutes/week) or MPA (≥600 minutes/week).

"This finding may reduce the concerns around the potential harmful effect of engaging in high levels of physical activity observed in several previous studies," Lee said in a statement.

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