It is well-documented that regular physical activity is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and premature death.
In a study from Harvard and elsewhere scientists found that adults who perform two to four times the currently recommended amount of moderate or vigorous physical activity per week have a much lower risk of mortality.
The reduction was 21-23% for people who engaged in two to four times the recommended amount of vigorous physical activity, and 26-31% for people who engaged in two to four times the recommended amount of moderate physical activity each week.
The potential impact of physical activity on health is great, yet it remains unclear whether engaging in high levels of prolonged, vigorous or moderate-intensity physical activity above the recommended levels provides any additional benefits or harmful effects on heart health.
In the study, the team did an analysis of more than 100,000 participants over a 30-year follow-up period.
They found that adults who performed double the currently recommended range of either moderate or vigorous physical activity each week had the lowest long-term death risk.
They also found people who met the guidelines for vigorous physical activity had an observed 31% lower risk of CVD mortality and 15% lower risk of non-CVD mortality, for an overall 19% lower risk of death from all causes.
People who met the guidelines for moderate physical activity had an observed 22-25% lower risk of CVD mortality and 19-20% lower risk of non-CVD mortality, for an overall 20-21% lower risk of death from all causes.
People who performed two to four times above the recommended amount of long-term vigorous physical activity (150-300 min/week) had an observed 27-33% lower risk of CVD mortality and 19% non-CVD mortality, for an overall 21-23% lower risk of death from all causes.
Peole who performed two to four times above the recommended amount of moderate physical activity (300-600 min/week) had an observed 28-38% lower risk of CVD mortality and 25-27% non-CVD mortality, for an overall 26-31% lower risk of mortality from all causes.
In addition, no harmful heart health effects were found among the adults who reported engaging in more than four times the recommended minimum activity levels.
This finding may reduce the concerns around the potentially harmful effect of engaging in high levels of physical activity observed in several previous studies.
However, engaging in long-term, high intensity physical activity (≥300 minutes/week) or moderate intensity physical activity (≥600 minutes/week) at levels more than four times the recommended weekly minimum did not provide any additional reduction in risk of death.
If you care about health, please read studies about vitamin D deficiency linked to higher death risk, and short bursts of vigorous activity may increase longevity.
For more information about health, please see recent studies that olive oil may help you live longer, and vitamin D could help lower the risk of autoimmune diseases.
The study was conducted by Dong Hoon Lee et al and published in Circulation.
Copyright © 2022 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.