Regular physical activity can be part of a healthy lifestyle.
Sedentary behaviors, such as sitting for a long time, are linked to higher risk of type 2 diabetes, prediabetes, heart disease and obesity.
Therefore, scientists suggest that people should at least take 30 min moderate intensity physical activity every day.
But how about too much physical activity? If a person takes hours moderate or high levels physical activity every day, will it hurt health?
A recent study from the VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, shows that the answer is YES, especially in workplace.
The researchers find that high level physical activity in workplace is associated with early death.
The team focused on the association between job physical activity and all-cause mortality. They conducted a systematic review about the published research.
A total of 17 studies were included with data from 193,696 participants. The studies time range is from 1960 to 2010.
The result showed that men doing high level physical activity in their work had a 18% higher risk of early death compared to men doing low level physical activity jobs.
But no such trend was found in women. In fact, the opposite effect seemed to be true for women.
Current guidelines recommend increasing moderate intensity physical activity up to 300 min per week.
But workers who engage in high level work physical activity are likely to be higher than this duration.
So why jobs requiring high physical activity can harm workers’ health?
The researchers suggest that these jobs often involve manual handling, repetitive work and prolonged static postures. These activities can increase heart rate and blood pressure with not enough time for recovery.
This is very different from leisure time physical activity, which involves a short moderate or high intensity workout and long recovery time.
Therefore, high physical activity jobs can lead to chronic exhaustion and high blood pressure and increase the risk for heart disease.
The researchers said “The results of this review indicate detrimental health consequences associated with high level occupational physical activity in men, even when adjusting for relevant factors (such as leisure time physical activity).
“This evidence indicates that physical activity guidelines should differentiate between occupational and leisure time physical activity.”
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