We all know we should be trying to exercise more for better health, but there is a lot of confusion out there about what exactly constitutes “exercise”. Does walking to the bus every day count? What about taking the stairs? A recent study in 2018 looked at the patterns of activity of almost 5000 Americans over a 3-year period. Their results provided evidence that “mortality (death) risk reductions associated with moderate to vigorous physical activity are independent of how the activity is accumulated”.
In other words, it doesn’t matter how you get to your exercise total for the day – you can do a non-stop 30-minute jog, or 3 shorter 10-minute brisk walks – as long as it all adds up to the goal of at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per week. So just because you don’t have time to go to the gym for an hour a day, you can still build in daily habits such as 10-minute brisk walks at lunch, jogging up stairs whenever possible, or 30 seconds of jumping jacks for every hour you are on the computer. The evidence shows that every little bit of exercise counts towards your daily total – so get moving!
Krause et al. Journal of the American Heart Association. 2018;7:e007678; March 2018.