What amount of exercise reduces the risk for mortality the most?

Dr Frank Lipman
Dec 16, 2022

Want to reduce your risk of mortality? This study investigated the amount of exercise needed to reduce the risk of mortality.

Study Summary

The 30-year study, which analyzed data from 116,221 individuals, found that:

  • Individuals who double or quadruple the recommended amount of weekly moderate (MPA) or vigorous physical activity (VPA) have the greatest reduction in mortality risk. This equates to ≈150 to 300 min/wk of leisure-time VPA, 300 to 600 min/wk of leisure-time MPA, or an equal combination of VPA and MPA.
  • Meeting the MPA guideline (150–299 min/wk) and the VPA guideline (75–149 min/wk) were both associated with reduced mortality from all-cause and heart disease.

The Hearty Take

We know that regular exercise is crucial to extending healthspan and lifespan! The current recommendation for weekly MPA and VPA is 150-300 minutes of MPA or 75-150 minutes of VPA, as set by the Physical Guidelines for Americans. These new recommendations suggest that a greater healthspan and lifespan benefit is seen when these recommendations are doubled or even quadrupled. We also know that all exercise is better than none, so whilst more may be better make sure you are doing some! A mixture of intensities is probably better for health but there is probably a ceiling for some people based on genetic differences. Want to learn what your genes say about the way you should exercise? Reach out to your doctor to test your genes!

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