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A Cooperative Study Published in BMJ Reveals the Association Between Recommended Physical Activity and Health

SHANDONG, China, Aug. 04, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Do you know that more engagement in physical activities shows a greatly reduced risk of mortality? Recently, the paper on physical activity and human health was published in the top international medical journal-British Medical Journal (Impact Factor: 30.223) by Prof. Bo Xi from the School of Public Health of Shandong University, with the cooperation with Dr. Sreenivas P. Veeranki from the University of Texas Medical Branch, USA and Dr. Costan G. Magnussen from the University of Tasmania, Australia. Dr. Min Zhao is the first author and Shandong University is the first author affiliation.

Previous studies showed that physical inactivity is a major risk factor for chronic non-communicable diseases worldwide. Although physical inactivity has been estimated to be responsible for 9 percent of premature death and $53.8 billion in health costs, it is still a worldwide public health problem. The 2018 physical activity guidelines for Americans recommend that adults should engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity (e.g. jogging, dancing, etc.) or at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity (e.g. faster running, playing basketball, etc.) each week, or an equivalent combination of both. Unfortunately, this study showed that, in the general population, only 16 percent engaged in both recommended aerobic and muscle strengthening activities, 24 percent in recommended aerobic activity only, and 4.5 percent in recommended muscle-strengthening activity only.

Based on data from about 479 856 adults aged 18 years or older with almost 9 years of follow-up, Xi et al. found that compared with participants not meeting the physical activity guidelines, the risk of all-cause mortality was 11 percent lower in those engaging in recommended muscle-strengthening activity and 29 percent lower in those engaging in recommended aerobic activity, and 40 percent lower in those who engaged in both activities. In addition, adults who engaged in recommended physical activity were at reduced risk of mortality from cardiovascular disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory tract diseases, influenza and pneumonia, nephritis, and Alzheimer’s disease, etc. The study also indicated that the beneficial effects on mortality risk are largely comparable between two intensities of aerobic activity each week (≥150 minutes of light to moderate intensity versus ≥75 minutes of vigorous-intensity). People can choose the appropriate type of physical activity according to their physical condition.

The study was supported by the Innovation Team of the “Climbing” Program of Shandong University, Youth Team of Humanistic and Social Science of Shandong University, and a National Heart Foundation of Australia's future leader fellowship.

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