A new international study suggests that many daily tasks could be classified as ‘high intensity’ physical activity.
Incorporating these kinds of activities into routines a few times a day could strongly benefit the majority of people.
The study is based on recent changes to the 2018 US Physical Activity Guidelines.
Hight intensity activity is an activity that gets you out of breath enough to boost your fitness.
Previously, scientists have found that high-intensity interval training (HIIT) could offer many health benefits.
It is one of the most effective ways to rapidly improve fitness and heart health.
However, it is not easy for everyone to do these exercises regularly.
In the present study, the researchers found bringing the science of HIIT into everyday life could be the key to helping overweight people get health benefits.
Many daily works, such as washing the car, climbing stairs, and carrying groceries, are opportunities for short sharp bursts of ‘High-Intensity Incidental Physical Activity’.
These activities could get people huffing and puffing. Even if they are quite short, they have great promise for health.
For typical middle-aged adults, activities, like running, playing with children at children’s pace, walking uphill, or riding home from work, could spend much more energy than when sitting down.
These activities could be used in the same way that popular HIIT works. People could repeat short sessions of high-intensity exercise with rests in between.
The results suggest that doing three to five brief high intensity incidental physical activity sessions 5 to 10 minutes a day, most days of the week will be very beneficial.
The idea is great because it uses activities people are already doing as part of daily life. It is much more realistic and achievable for most people.
There are no costs, no need for equipment, and no concerns about a lack of skill.
One study author is Emmanuel Stamatakis, Professor of Physical Activity, Lifestyle and Population Health.
Other researchers are from Loughborough University, University College London, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, and the National Research Centre for the Working Environment (Denmark).
The research is published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
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Further reading: British Journal of Sports Medicine.