For Better Health, All Movement Matters!
We bet you know the federal exercise guidelines by heart. About 150 minutes of moderately intense activity a week — a.k.a. 30 minutes a day, five days a week — is recommended for overall health and chronic-illness prevention. Maybe you’ve also heard that it’s okay to break up your exercise into 10-minute “bouts” of activity, which is helpful on those days when a half-hour is as hard to find as a four-leaf clover. As it turns out, you can break up your movement even more! Researchers recently looked at a three-year span of data on nearly 5,000 adults who had worn accelerometers that tracked their movement throughout the day. They then looked at death rates from six and a half years later. Those who were the least active (getting less than 20 minutes a day of moderate activity) had the highest risk of an early death from any cause. Compared with this group, people who averaged an hour of moderate or vigorous exercise a day had half the risk of dying. But the real surprise was that it didn’t matter whether people got their exercise in sessions of a certain length or sporadically throughout the day. In other words, all movement matters. Mowing the lawn, running to catch a bus, walking for a half-hour with a friend, riding your bike to work, taking an interval-training class, doing a few minutes of jumping jacks, having a spontaneous dance party with your family after dinner…it all counts! Keep up with your fitness regimen if you have one, since sticking to a routine can ensure that you get enough exercise. If you’ve been intimidated to start, know that any activity that gets your heart rate up counts, no gym memberships or fancy running shoes required. We can all make an effort to sit less and move more — a few minutes here, 20 minutes there — and know that those minutes may add up to a long and healthy life!

Source: Moderate‐to‐Vigorous Physical Activity and All‐Cause Mortality: Do Bouts Matter?