Want to avoid an early death? Get moving, a study says

22 Août, 2019, 23:23 | Auteur: Yves Courtet

Using accelerometers - a wearable device that tracks the volume and intensity of activity - to measure total activity, intensity levels were separated into categories of light, moderate and vigorous.

The findings, published by The BMJ today, showed that after taking into account potentially influential factors, any level of physical activity, regardless of intensity, was associated with a substantially lower risk of death. Moderate-intensity activities include brisk walking, vacuuming or mowing the lawn.

The findings are in line with previous studies which have repeatedly suggested that sedentary behaviour has a negative effect on health and is linked to premature death, while keeping active can increase the chance of living a longer, and healthier, life.

During the 5.8 year follow-up 5.9 per cent of the 36,000 people in the studies had died.

Moreover, increasing time spent active was associated with a sharp decrease in the number of deaths, even when the activity was of light intensity.

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But a team from the University of Leicester and Norwegian School of Sport Sciences in Oslo wanted to determine how indolent behaviour impacts early death, and analysed eight large studies.

Activity levels were categorised into quarters, from least to most active, and participants were tracked for an average of 5.8 years.

New research in Europe has found more evidence to suggest that physical activity - at any intensity - could help to lower the risk of an early death, while spending too much time being sedentary could have the opposite effect. Being sedentary for 9.5 hours or more a day, excluding sleeping time, is associated with an increased risk of death. The researchers say this strengthens the view that any physical activity is beneficial and likely achievable for large segments of the population.

For adults up to the age of 64, the NHS recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity such as cycling or brisk walking every week and strength exercises on two or more days a week that work all the major muscles. Although, the study says that these guidelines are based on self-reported activity, which is often imprecise.

According to the researchers, the public health message may simply be: "Sit less and move more and more often".

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