Short bursts of activity in daily tasks may reduce risk of premature death – study

A last-minute rush for the bus or running with the kids for a few minutes could help reduce a person’s risk of premature death, a new study has found.

According to scientists, three or four one-minute bouts of activity during daily tasks are associated with large reductions in the risk of premature death, especially from cardiovascular disease.

Australian researchers say they have, for the first time, accurately measured the health benefits of what is called vigorous intermittent physical activity (VILPA).

VILPA is described as short bursts of vigorous activity of up to a minute or two that people do every day, including bouts of brisk walking while running errands or playing high-energy games with children.

The study, led by the Charles Perkins Center at the University of Sydney and published in Nature Medicine, used data from trackers worn by more than 25,000 self-confessed “non-exercisers” in the UK Biobank biomedical database.

It found that three or four daily one-minute episodes of VILPA were associated with up to a 40% reduction in all-cause and cancer-related mortality, and up to a 49% reduction in cancer-related deaths. cardiovascular illnesses.

The researchers said a comparative analysis of vigorous activity in 62,000 people who exercised regularly found results comparable to their study.

The scientists found that the greatest gains were seen when comparing those with around four to five episodes of VILPA each day with those without, and that more benefits were found in people with higher amounts of VILPA.

The maximum of 11 episodes per day was associated with a 65% reduction in the risk of cardiovascular death and a 49% reduction in the risk of cancer-related death, compared with no VILPA, the researchers said.

They called for physical activity guidelines and clinical advice to be updated and expanded to include more than just structured activity.

The study’s lead author, Emmanuel Stamatakis, professor of physical activity, lifestyle and population health at the Charles Perkins Centre, said: “Our study shows that similar benefits to interval training high-intensity training (HIIT) can be achieved by increasing the intensity of incidental activities being performed. part of everyday life, and the more the better.

“A few very short bouts totaling three to four minutes a day can go a long way, and there are many daily activities that can be modified to get your heart rate up for about a minute.”

Speeding up the pace of household chores can make a difference to a person’s health, researchers say (Alamy/PA)

He said “pick up the pace by walking or doing housework with a bit more energy” can make a real difference.

Professor Stamatakis said the use of wearable technology “holds enormous potential for understanding the most feasible and fastest ways to benefit from physical activity, whether done for recreational purposes or as part of everyday”.

The research results were generally well received by scientists.

David Stensel, professor of exercise metabolism at Loughborough University, described the findings as “significant and provocative” and said they “should stimulate further research giving better insight into the potential health benefits of ‘vigorous intermittent physical activity’.

He said: “This is good quality research backed by strong data, including the use of accelerometry to quantify lifestyle vigorous intermittent physical activity.

“This aligns with existing evidence that participation in vigorous physical activity is associated with a lower risk of all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease and cancer and advances the field by showing that this applies to unstructured forms of vigorous physical activity among people who self-identify as non-exercisers.

The researchers acknowledged that their findings are observational, so they cannot directly establish cause and effect, but said they took “rigorous statistical measures to minimize the possibility that the results were explained by differences state of health between the participants”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *