A study conducted in Taiwan found that compared to inactive study subjects, those
with an average of 15 minutes a day of moderate-intensity physical activity reduced
their all-cause mortality by 14%, with 35 minutes a day the reduction was 20%,
with 60 minutes a day the reduction was 29%, and with 90 minutes a day, the reduction
was 35%. Two hours a week of vigorous-intensity activities provided health
benefits similar to four hours a week of moderate-intensity physical activities. The
study confirms that even small increases in physical activity offer important health
Because people in many countries are spending the majority of their day sitting, and
this is linked to an increased risk for many chronic diseases and premature death,
a study was undertaken among middle-aged and older men and women to consider
how much sitting is too much and if light-intensity physical activity improves longevity.
In contrast to many studies that rely on self-reporting to obtain objective
data, the study combined data from eight studies in which more than 36,000 participants
wore a motion sensor for between four and seven days in total. Over a six-year
period, the study found a strong association between total physical activity of
any intensity, even light chores, and a decreased risk of dying. The study found that
per 1,000 participants, 23 individuals died in the most active 25% of participants
compared with 130 deaths per 1,000 participants in the least active 25%—more
than a five-fold difference between groups.
The study also estimated how much time being physically active was associated
with a maximally reduced risk of death. For moderate to vigorous intensity activity
about 24 minutes per day (168 minutes per week) and five hours a day of light exercise
was associated with the greatest risk reduction—more than this did not seem
to lower the risk further. High amounts of sitting and other sedentary time above
9.5 hours per day was associated with an increased risk of death. In contrast, sitting
levels below this threshold did not seem to be strongly linked to a difference in risk.
In another study of light physical activity among 5861 women with an average age
of 78, those in the highest quartile of light physical activity, as measured by accelerometers
and averaging six hours a day, had a 42% lower risk of heart attack or
coronary death and a 22% reduced risk of cardiovascular disease events compared
with those in the lowest quartile who averaged three hours a day of light physical
This blog presents opinions and ideas and is intended to provide helpful general information. I am not engaged in rendering advice or services to the individual reader. The ideas, procedures and suggestions in that are presented are not in any way a substitute for the advice and care of the reader’s own physician or other medical professional based on the reader’s own individual conditions, symptoms or concerns. If the reader needs personal medical, health, dietary, exercise or other assistance or advice the reader should consult a physician and/or other qualified health professionals. The author specifically disclaims all responsibility for any injury, damage or loss that the reader may incur as a direct or indirect consequence of following any directions or suggestions given in this blog or participating in any programs described in this blog or in the book, The Building Blocks of Health––How to Optimize Your Health with a Lifestyle Checklist (available in print or downloaded at Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble and elsewhere). Copyright 2021 by J. Joseph Speidel.