Some exercise is better than none; more is better to reduce heart disease risk
Even small amounts of physical activity will help reduce heart disease risk, and the benefit increases as the amount of activity increases, according to a quantitative review reported in Circulation, journal of the American Heart Association. People who engaged in 150 minutes of moderate-intensity leisure activity had a 14 percent lower risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) compared to those who reported no exercise or physical activity. At higher levels of activity, the relative risk of CHD was progressively lower. Researchers found that even people who got below the United States guidelines for physical activity, which recommends 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate exercise per week, had a lower risk of CHD than those who had no activity.
"The overall findings of the study corroborate federal guidelines - even a little bit of exercise is good, but more is better – 150 minutes of exercise per week is beneficial, 300 minutes per week will give even more benefits," said Jacob Sattelmair, ScD, of the Department of Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health.
Sattelmair said this work differs from previous reviews of studies examining physical activity and heart disease risk because it included quantitative assessments of the amount of physical activity a person may need to reduce their risk as well as the magnitude of benefit. In a meta-analysis, researchers examined more than 3,000 studies of physical activity and heart disease, and included 33 of them in their analysis. Among those, nine measured leisure activity quantitatively.
"Early studies broke people into groups such as active and sedentary. More recent studies have begun to assess the actual amount of physical activity people are getting and how that relates to their risk of heart disease."
The study also notes a significant interaction by gender, as these results were stronger in women than in men.
Source: American Heart Association
Articles on the same topic
- Even with regular exercise, people with inactive lifestyles more at risk for chronic diseasesTue, 2 Aug 2011, 9:34:08 EDT
- Even with regular exercise, people with inactive lifestyles more at risk for chronic diseasesfrom PhysorgTue, 2 Aug 2011, 9:30:54 EDT
- Some exercise is better than none: More is better to reduce heart disease riskfrom Science DailyMon, 1 Aug 2011, 17:31:06 EDT
- Some exercise is better than none; more is better to reduce heart disease riskfrom PhysorgMon, 1 Aug 2011, 17:01:19 EDT
- Well: The Claim: A Normal Heart Rate Is 60 to 100 Beats a Minutefrom NY Times ScienceMon, 1 Aug 2011, 16:10:18 EDT
- Well: Really? The Claim: A Normal Heart Rate Is 60 to 100 Beats a Minutefrom NY Times HealthMon, 1 Aug 2011, 14:50:14 EDT
Latest Science NewsletterGet the latest and most popular science news articles of the week in your Inbox! It's free!
Learn more about
Check out our next project, Biology.Net
From other science news sites
Popular science news articles
- Lab experiments question popular measure of ancient ocean temperatures
- Study shows plant species' genetic responses to climate change
- LSU researchers conduct post-hurricane recovery analysis
- Massive study reports challenges in reproducing published psychology findings
- Mystery of polar bear Knut's disease finally solved
- Gravitational constant appears universally constant, pulsar study suggests
- Astronomers discover powerful aurora beyond solar system
- California 'rain debt' equal to average full year of precipitation
- Robotic insect mimics Nature's extreme moves
- Special issue: Philae results shed light on the nature of comets