Posted on Feb 08, 2013, 6 a.m.
Small amounts of activity – 1 or 2-minutes at a time that add up to 30 minutes a day – may be as beneficial as longer bouts of structured exercise.
An active lifestyle approach, as compared to structured exercise, may be just as beneficial in improving health outcomes, including preventing metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Paul Loprinzi, from Oregon State University (Oregon, USA), and colleagues analyzed data collected on 6,321 participants, ranging in age from 18 to 85 years, in the NHANES 2003-2006 study. The researchers found that 43% of those who participated in the “short bouts” of exercise met physical activity guidelines of 30 minutes day. In comparison, less than 10% of those in the longer exercise bouts met those federal guidelines for exercise. The study data showed those in the shorter exercise group who met physical activity guidelines had an 89% chance of not having metabolic syndrome, compared to 87% for those meeting guidelines using the structured exercise approach.The study authors conclude that: “Engaging in [small amounts of activity], as opposed to bouts of [structured exercise], is just as strongly associated with several biologic health outcomes, suggesting that adults who perceive themselves as having little time to exercise may still be able to enhance their health by adopting an active lifestyle approach.”
Loprinzi PD, Cardinal BJ. “Association between biologic outcomes and objectively measured physical activity accumulated in ≥10-minute bouts and <10-minute bouts.” Am J Health Promot. 2013 Jan;27(3):143-51.