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Some exercise is better than none: More is better to reduce heart disease risk

Date:
August 1, 2011
Source:
American Heart Association
Summary:
Researchers found that 2.5 hours of moderate intensity physical activity per week can lower the overall risk of heart disease by 14 percent. This is the first review to quantify the amount of physical activity that is required to lower the risk of heart disease; others suggest only qualitative estimates.

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.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Heart Association. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jacob Sattelmair, Jeremy Pertman, Eric L. Ding, Harold W. Kohl III, William Haskell, and I-Min Lee. Dose Response Between Physical Activity and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease: A Meta-Analysis. Circulation, August 1 2011 DOI: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.110.010710

Cite This Page:

American Heart Association. "Some exercise is better than none: More is better to reduce heart disease risk." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110801161414.htm>.
American Heart Association. (2011, August 1). Some exercise is better than none: More is better to reduce heart disease risk. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110801161414.htm
American Heart Association. "Some exercise is better than none: More is better to reduce heart disease risk." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110801161414.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

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