A recent paper published in Nature Medicine shows that physical activity lasting a minute or two, in short, vigorous bursts (such as walking very fast), is associated with a substantial reduction in the risk of death in daily life.
The researchers analyzed wearable accelerometer data from 25,241 participants in the UK Biobank (UK Biobank).
The participants all reported that they did not participate in leisure-time physical activity and had an average age of 61.8 years.
Researchers followed for an average of 6.9 years, and 852 deaths occurred during the follow-up time.
They found that people who participated in daily intermittent vigorous physical activity (VILPA, defined as no more than 1 or 2 minutes per bout of activity) had a dramatic decrease in all-cause, cancer-related and cardiovascular disease-related deaths compared with those who did not have VILPA.
The study showed that having three bouts of VILPA lasting 1 to 2 minutes per day was associated with a 38%-40% reduction in the risk of all-cause and cancer death and a 48%-49% reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease death.
This reduction in the risk of death is close to the benefits reported in UK Biobank for over 62,000 participants who engaged in vigorous physical activity during leisure time.