Short Bursts of Vigorous Activity Linked With Increased Longevity

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Summary: Two-minute bursts of vigorous physical activity totaling 16 minutes per week were associated with an 18% reduced risk of death and a 15% reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. Burst exercise up to 53 minutes per week is linked to a 36% lower risk of death from any health cause.

Source: European Society of Cardiology

Two-minute bursts of vigorous activity totalling 15 minutes a week are associated with a reduced risk of death, according to research published today in European Heart Journal, a journal of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).

“The results indicate that accumulating vigorous activity in short bouts across the week can help us live longer,” said study author Dr. Matthew N. Ahmadi of the University of Sydney, Australia.

“Given that lack of time is the most commonly reported barrier to regular physical activity, accruing small amounts sporadically during the day may be a particularly attractive option for busy people.”

A second study, also published today in EHJ, found that for a given amount of physical activity, increasing the intensity was associated with a reduced likelihood of cardiovascular disease. 

“Our study shows that it’s not just the amount of activity, but also the intensity, that is important for cardiovascular health,” said study author Dr. Paddy C. Dempsey of the University of Leicester and University of Cambridge, UK, and the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute, Melbourne, Australia.

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