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No limit to health benefits of exercise on the heart, study claims – Daily Mail

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-9139301/There-no-limit-health-benefits-exercise-hearts-study-claims.html

Survival of the fittest: There is ‘no limit’ to the health benefits of exercise for our hearts, study claims

  • Researchers studied 90,000 UK residents with no prior cardiovascular disease
  • They had them wear an accelerometer to measure activity levels over a week 
  • Those exercising most were 46 per cent less likely to develop heart problems than people who never or rarely take part in physical activity, authors found

There is ‘no limit’ to the benefits that can be gained in terms of heart health and reduced risk of cardiovascular disease from exercise, according to a new study. 

The lowest risk of cardiovascular disease – such as a heart attack or stroke – is seen among people who are the most active, say Oxford University scientists.

Researchers studied 90,000 UK residents who had no prior cardiovascular disease and had them wear an accelerometer to measure their physical activity over a week. 

Those who exercised the least were most likely to smoke, have a higher body mass index and most often diagnosed with high blood pressure, the team found.

Compared to those who exercised the least, those who got the most physical activity were 46 per cent less likely to develop problems with their heart. 

The lowest risk of cardiovascular disease – such as a heart attack or stroke – is seen among people who are the most active, say Oxford University scientists

Overall, there were 3,617 cases of cardiovascular disease diagnosed in participants during an average of 5.2 years of follow-up.

People in every increasing level of physical activity – from moderate to total physical activity – were less likely to have heart problems than those who didn’t exercise. 

Those who got the second least exercise were still 71 per cent as likely to suffer heart problems as those who don’t exercise, those with average activity levels were 59 per cent as likely and those who exercise the most just 46 per cent as likely.

Study co lead author Aiden Doherty said: ‘This is the largest ever study of exquisite device-measured physical activity and cardiovascular disease.

‘It shows that physical activity is probably even more important for the prevention of cardiovascular disease than we previously thought.

‘Our findings lend further weight to the new WHO guidelines on physical activity which recommend at least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity per week for all adults.’

Overall, there were 3,617 cases of cardiovascular disease diagnosed in participants during an average of 5.2 years of follow-up 

Lead author Professor Terry Dwyer said the results show that physical activity is likely to be an important way of preventing cardiovascular disease. 

‘The potential risk reduction estimated in those engaging in relatively high levels of activity is substantial and justifies a greater emphasis on measures to increase levels of physical activity in the community.’ 

The findings have been published in the journal PLOS Medicine

HOW MUCH EXERCISE DO YOU NEED TO DO?

To stay healthy, adults aged 19 to 64 should try to be active daily and should do:

  • at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity such as cycling or brisk walking every week and
  • strength exercises on 2 or more days a week that work all the major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms)

Or:

  • 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity such as running or a game of singles tennis every week and
  • strength exercises on 2 or more days a week that work all the major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms)

Or:

  • a mix of moderate and vigorous aerobic activity every week – for example, 2 x 30-minute runs plus 30 minutes of brisk walking equates to 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity and
  • strength exercises on 2 or more days a week that work all the major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms)

A good rule is that 1 minute of vigorous activity provides the same health benefits as 2 minutes of moderate activity.

One way to do your recommended 150 minutes of weekly physical activity is to do 30 minutes on 5 days every week.

All adults should also break up long periods of sitting with light activity.

Source: NHS 

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