06 Apr Study Show Close Link Between Leisure Time Exercise and Mortality
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Hannah Arem, MHS, PhD
Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics
National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland
Medical Research: What is the background for this study?
Dr. Arem: The 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity per week for “substantial” health benefit, and suggest “additional” benefit with more than double the exercise minimum. However, the guidelines note that there is a lack of evidence for an upper limit of health benefit. We set out to define the dose-response relationship between leisure-time physical activity and mortality and to determine the upper limit of benefit associated with higher levels of aerobic exercise.
Medical Research: What are the main findings?
Dr. Arem: We found that study participants who met the recommended minimum level of leisure-time physical activity derived most of the mortality benefit, with a 31% lower risk of death compared to inactive individuals. Study participants who engaged in three to five times the recommended minimum level of leisure-time physical activity had a marginally increased mortality benefit, with a 39% lower risk of death compared to inactive individuals. Three to five times the recommended minimum is equivalent to a weekly minimum of walking 7 hours or running 2 hours 15 minutes.
Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Dr. Arem: Clinicians should encourage inactive adults to follow the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans and should not discourage adults who already participate in high levels of exercise.
Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Dr. Arem: Future studies are needed to further explore mortality differences by exercise intensity (light vs moderate or vigorous) and types of specific activities. Additional studies might also look at very high levels of exercise and health outcomes other than mortality.
Arem H, Moore SC, Patel A, et al. Leisure Time Physical Activity and Mortality: A Detailed Pooled Analysis of the Dose-Response Relationship. JAMA Intern Med. Published online April 06, 2015. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2015.0533.
MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Hannah Arem, MHS, PhD (2015). Study Show Close Link Between Leisure Time Exercise and Mortality