Intensity of Activity More Important than Duration for Controlling Weight, Study Finds

Each daily minute of higher-intensity activity reduced the risk of obesity by 5 percent in women and by 2 percent in men, according to the study published in the current issue of the American Journal of Health Promotion.

Cooking with Kathy Man

Higher-intensity exercise, even in spurts, plays an important role in controlling weight, according to a new study.

“What we learned is that for preventing weight gain, the intensity of the activity matters more than duration,” Jessie Fan, a professor of family and consumer studies at the University of Utah, said in a university news release.

“This new understanding is important because fewer than 5 percent of American adults today achieve the recommended level of physical activity in a week according to the current physical activity guidelines. Knowing that even short bouts of ‘brisk’ activity can add up to a positive effect is an encouraging message for promoting better health,” Fan explained.

The current physical activity guideline for Americans is to get at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity a week, which can be accumulated in eight- to 10-minute periods.

The analysis of data from more than 2,200…

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