In good news for those who don’t like playing sport or going to the gym, new research finds just three to four one-minute bursts of huffing and puffing during daily tasks is associated with large reductions in the risk of premature death, particularly from cardiovascular disease.
Published in Nature Medicine today, the study is led by the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre in Australia.
It is the first to accurately measure the health benefits of what researchers have termed ‘vigorous intermittent lifestyle physical activity’ or VILPA – like running for the bus, bursts of power walking while doing errands or playing high-energy games with the kids.
The researchers found that just three to four one-minute bouts of VILPA every day is associated with up to 40 percent reduction in all-cause and cancer-related mortality, and up to a 49 percent reduction in death related to cardiovascular disease.
“Our study shows similar benefits to high-intensity interval training (HIIT) can be achieved through increasing the intensity of incidental activities done as part of daily living, and the more the better,” said lead author Emmanuel Stamatakis, Professor of Physical Activity, Lifestyle and Population Health at the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre.
“A few very short bouts total three to four minutes a day could go a long way, and there are many daily activities that can be tweaked to raise your heart rate for a minute or so.”
Researchers used wrist-worn tracker data to measure the activity of over 25,000 ‘non-exercisers’, participants who self-reported that they do not do any sports or exercise during leisure time.
Source: University of Sydney
University of Sydney. “One-minute bursts of activity during daily tasks could prolong your life: First research to measure the benefits of vigorous physical activity as part of daily living” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2022. december 8. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2022/12/221208114715.htm>.