Moving a few minutes a day provides health benefits

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Moving for a few minutes a day has health benefits

Run to the bus stop or climb the stairs quickly are examples of beneficial physical activities.

Three or four minutes a day of vigorous physical activity would be enough to halve the risk of death from cardiovascular causes, shows an Australian study in which an Ontario researcher collaborated.

Even better, those three or four minutes are actually daily activities that are converted into vigorous exercise. So there is no question of trying to find extra time in already busy days.

There are no more excuses , said Professor Martin Gibala, of McMaster University, about those who claim to be too busy to keep fit.

Led by Professor Emmanuel Stamatakis, from the University of Sydney, the study published in the journal Nature Medicine focused on what researchers call in English the < em>vigorous intermittent lifestyle physical activity (VILPA), which could be translated as; lifestyle intense intermittent physical activity.

Running to the bus stop, climbing the stairs quickly or picking up the pace while grocery shopping are some examples of VILPA.

The researchers spent seven years studying some 25,000 UK Biobank participants who described themselves as sedentary. A physical activity monitor worn by the subjects revealed that 89% of them practiced some form of VILPA every day, and that 93% of these VILPAs lasted approximately one minute.

Physical activity monitors, Professor Gibala explained, can be used to pick up those brief bursts of VILPA that are otherwise not picked up.

So we can learn from it more about the health benefits, or potential benefits, of these very small bouts of physical activity, he said.

Participants in the x27;study averaged eight VILPA sessions per day; each was one minute or less, for a total of about six minutes each day.

In addition to reducing the risk of death from cardiovascular causes by 49%, a few minutes a day of VILPA was associated with a 40% drop in the risk of death from all causes and the risk of death from cancer.


The greatest health benefits were found when comparing participants who did four or five VILPA sessions per day to those who did none.

< p class="e-p">However, the maximum of 11 VILPA sessions per day was associated with a 65% reduction in the risk of death from cardiovascular causes and a 49% reduction in the risk of death from cancer, again compared to no VILPA sessions.< /p>

This is really striking in terms of relative risk reduction, Professor Gibala concluded.

“Hopefully it will motivate people when they see how little it would take to achieve such potentially significant benefits. »

— Martin Gibala, professor at McMaster University

Another study, this one published by Australian researchers in the European Heart Journal< /em>, indicates that just eight minutes of vigorous physical activity per day (for a total of less than one hour per week) is associated with a 35% reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease and a 36% reduction in the risk of deaths from all causes.

Researchers sifted through data generated by physical activity monitors worn by more than 71,000 British subjects. This allowed them to see that, as you might expect, the more you move, the more health benefits you get.

The surprise is more that the protective effect seems to stabilize after a certain point. Bursts of physical activity, the researchers say in a statement, improve blood pressure, fight plaque that clogs arteries, and increase overall fitness.

They would also more effective than moderate exercise in helping the body adapt to the demands placed on it.

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends currently 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity per week. It is also recommended to work on muscular strength, for example by lifting weights, at least twice a week.

But barely half of Americans would reach the target of 150 minutes per week. week, and less than a quarter would work their muscle strength twice a week.

Eight minutes a day, instead of 30 minutes, could therefore represent a more attractive and more motivating target for some .

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