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Objective - Accelerometer

436. Sustained and Shorter Bouts of Physical Activity are Related to Cardiovascular Health

Research Article
Glazer NL, Lyass A, Esliger DW, Blease SJ, Freedson PS, Massaro JM, Murabito JM, Vasan RS
September 2012

Commentary: Bethany Walker, National Heart Foundation

Physical activity guidelines recommend 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) per week with activity sustained for ≥10 minutes in order to achieve maximum health benefits. However little is known about the health benefits of exercising in shorter bouts. This paper investigates the potential benefits of exercising <10 minutes and ≥10 minutes, independent of intensity and amount, and the association between time engaged in physical activity and individual cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors.

A cross sectional examination was carried out amongst 2109 Caucasian adults averaging 47 years of age. Physical activity was measured in minutes by movement and intensity using an accelerometer over 5-7 days. Blood pressure, anthropometry and a range of CVD risk factors were also routinely recorded throughout the study.

Results showed participants engaged in 28 (±21) minutes/day of MVPA with 9 (±13) minutes of MVPA ≥10 minutes and 19 (±14) minutes of MVPA <10 minutes. Between 10-15% of participants met the guidelines of ≥150 minutes/week of MVPA ≥10 minutes however results dramatically improved with approximately half of participants satisfying guidelines if exercise <10 minutes were included. Both short and long sessions of MVPA were associated with lower prevalence of obesity, triglycerides, waist circumference, BMI, impaired glucose intolerance (IGT) and a higher prevalence of high-density lipoprotein (HDL).

Whilst a small proportion of the study achieved ≥150 minutes of MVPA ≥10 minutes a majority of participants achieved ≥150 when total MVPA was considered. MVPA, regardless of how it is accrued, has been identified to lower CVD risk factor burden. These findings may encourage sedentary persons to become more active by allowing for physical activity sessions <10 minutes if promotional messages are framed in this way, for example by highlighting the importance of breaking up sitting time through regular, light, incidental activities.

Source: Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise Published Ahead-of-Print. Access to this article is dependent on your Institutional rights. Click here to visit this article.