Daily Intense Activity Prolongs Life
A new study in the journal Nature Medicine suggests that short bursts of intense movement are associated with a lower risk of premature death. The UK researchers analyzed data from about 25,000 non-exercisers with an average age of 62 that wore movement tracking devices on their wrists.
Vigorous intermittent lifestyle physical activity (VILPA) refers to short, sporadic bursts of exertion done as part of daily living, such as walking very fast while commuting to work or climbing stairs. The scientists found that compared to participants that engaged in no VILPA, those that did just one to two minutes of VILPA three to four times daily exhibited a 38 to 40 percent lower risk of death over the course of seven years. They also noted that just a few minutes of VILPA throughout the day reduced cardiovascular disease-related mortality by up to 49 percent.
Similar results were obtained when they analyzed vigorous physical activity in roughly 62,000 participants that exercised regularly. VILPA in non-exercisers appears to elicit similar effects to vigorous physical activity in exercisers, suggesting that VILPA may be a suitable physical activity target, especially in people not able or willing to exercise on a regular basis.