never too late to start exercising,
so let’s get moving!
Results of a new study on the benefits of physical activity in American adults and a summary of the current exercise guidelines.
Lack of Physical Activity Costs Lives and Dollars
activity is an essential part of staying healthy and maintaining good quality
of life throughout one’s lifetime. Exercising offers immediate and long-term
benefits to how people feel, function, and sleep. It also reduces the risk of
developing a variety of chronic diseases,
while inactivity contributes to 1 in 10 premature deaths.
Around 1 in 2 American suffer from at least 1 chronic disease,
yet less than ¼ of Americans are meeting national physical activity guidelines
for aerobic and muscle strengthening activities according to Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics report.
Inadequate physical activity costs the US $117 billion in annual healthcare
benefits from exercise,
and a new study published recently suggests that it is never too late to start
being regularly active to see the benefits.
A recent study
by Saint-Maurice and others published in the journal JAMA Network Open asked
whether there was an association between leisure time physical activity (LTPA) during
adolescence (15-18 yrs) or early (19-29 yrs), middle (35-39 yrs), and later
(40-61 yrs) adulthood – and all-causes of mortality (death), including cardiovascular disease-related, and
The study looked
at 315,059 adults across 8 states from the National Institutes of Health–AARP
(formerly American Association of Retired Persons) Diet and Health Study. LPTA for
each age group was self-reported and authors also identified different LTPA
categories across time: maintaining, increasing, and decreasing.
The study found
that compared to adults who were consistently inactive (<1 hr/wk),
maintaining high LTPA was associated with 36% decreased risk for premature causes
of death, which includes a 42% decreased risk for CVD-related, and 14%
decreased risk for cancer-related deaths. Also, adults who were less active
during most of their adult life but subsequently increased LTPA in later
adulthood showed lower risk for all-causes of premature death (-35%), CVD-related
(-43%) and cancer-related death (-16%).
“Our findings suggest that it is not too late for adults to become active. These findings are particularly informative for health care professionals advising individuals who have been physically inactive throughout much of their adulthood that substantial health benefits can still be gained by improving their physical activity habits.”
What we should take away from this study:
Adults who spend
more time (2-8 hrs/wk) in LTPA, even those who have previously been mostly
sedentary in adulthood, may have lower risk of all causes of (premature) death including
those related to cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cancer. Adults who are
already regularly active should be encouraged to maintain their physical activity levels as they age, while LTPA should be encouraged in
adults who are currently sedentary at midlife.
How Much Physical Activity Do You Need?
Activity Guidelines for Americans (2nd ed.) state the following:
- Adults should move more and sit less throughout the day. Some physical activity is better than none. Adults who sit less and do any amount of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity gain some health benefits.
- For substantial health benefits, adults should do at least 150-300 minutes (5 hours) a week of moderate-intensity, or 75-150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity, or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity. Preferably, aerobic activity should be spread throughout the week.
- Additional health benefits are gained by engaging in physical activity beyond the equivalent of 300 minutes (5 hours) of moderate-intensity physical activity a week.
- Adults should also do muscle-strengthening activities of moderate or greater intensity and that involve all major muscle groups on ≥2 days/week, as these activities provide additional health benefits.
Newtopia helps participants achieve the above
recommended physical activity levels. Our program is tailored for each
participant to create sustainable habit change across nutrition, exercise, and
for safe physical activity can also be found in the guidelines.
*Tips on workplace
physical activity can be found here https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/worksite-pa/index.htm