Posted on Aug 21, 2020, 2 p.m.
Simply turning a 12-minute leisurely stroll into a 7-minute power walk on a daily basis may decrease the chance of an early death by 30% according to a recent study, and adding 2 minutes of brisk walking to a 35-minute walk was found to lower the risk of early death by 21%.
Fitness tracker data and health data from 96,476 adults between the ages of 40-69 collected from the long term UK BioBank study were analyzed to show that as far as longevity goes it is not just how much you exercise it is also the intensity that matters. Findings could help fitness tracker wearables to be employed to be more specific to help improve longevity.
“Our results show that higher volumes of activity energy expenditure are associated with lower mortality rates,” the researchers concluded adding that “achieving the same energy expenditure through higher-intensity activity is associated with even greater benefits than through lower-intensity activity.”
The UK Biobank study seeks to identify genetic and environmental factors that contribute to the development of diseases and it has an accumulation of biological samples in a large repository which includes urine and blood samples. Fitness tracker data was used to calculate participant physical activity energy expenditure and how much of this came from moderate to vigorous-intensity physical activity. Participants were followed on average for 3.1 years, during this time 732 of the participants died. Higher levels of physical activity were found to be associated with a lower risk of mortality regardless of the cause of death.
The researchers concluded in their report which is published in the journal Nature Medicine that the equivalent of adding an extra 2 minutes of brisk walking to the end of a 35-minute walk on a daily basis could lower the risk of an early death by 21%.
“The linkage of device-measured activity to energy expenditure creates a framework for using wearables for personalised prevention,” the researchers concluded.
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