The researchers found that, outside of work-related physical activity, two out of three people reported activity levels below 150 min per week of moderate-intensity activity and fewer than one in ten managed more than 300 min per week.
Broadly speaking, they found that beyond 150 min per week of moderate-intensity activity, the additional benefits in terms of reduced risk of disease or early death were marginal. But even half this amount came with significant benefits: accumulating 75 min per week of moderate-intensity activity brought with it a 23% lower risk of early death.
Dr Soren Brage from the MRC Epidemiology Unit said: “If you are someone who finds the idea of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a week a bit daunting, then our findings should be good news. Doing some physical activity is better than doing none. This is also a good starting position – if you find that 75 minutes a week is manageable, then you could try stepping it up gradually to the full recommended amount.”
Seventy-five minutes per week of moderate activity was also enough to reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease by 17% and cancer by 7%. For some specific cancers, the reduction in risk was greater – head and neck, myeloid leukaemia, myeloma, and gastric cardia cancers were between 14-26% lower risk. For other cancers, such as lung, liver, endometrial, colon, and breast cancer, a 3-11% lower risk was observed.
Professor James Woodcock from the MRC Epidemiology Unit said: “We know that physical activity, such as walking or cycling, is good for you, especially if you feel it raises your heart rate. But what we’ve found is there are substantial benefits to heart health and reducing your risk of cancer even if you can only manage 10 minutes every day.”
The researchers calculated that if everyone in the studies had done the equivalent of at least 150 min per week of moderate-intensity activity, around one in six (16%) early deaths would be prevented. One in nine (11%) cases of cardiovascular disease and one in 20 (5%) cases of cancer would be prevented.
However, even if everyone managed at least 75 min per week of moderate-intensity physical activity, around one in ten (10%) early deaths would be prevented. One in twenty (5%) cases of cardiovascular disease and nearly one in thirty (3%) cases of cancer would be prevented.
Dr Leandro Garcia from Queen’s University Belfast said: “Moderate activity doesn’t have to involve what we normally think of exercise, such as sports or running. Sometimes, replacing some habits is all that is needed. For example, try to walk or cycle to your work or study place instead of using a car, or engage in active play with your kids or grand kids. Doing activities that you enjoy and that are easy to include in your weekly routine is an excellent way to become more active.”
2 responses to “Daily 11 minute brisk walk enough to reduce risk of early death – Cambridge”
Our bodies are designed to move. That, to me, is the subtext.
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Couldn’t agree more, Jasper. We are organic machines. Use it or lose it. Have a great weekend!
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