Short Bouts of Higher Intensity Activity Prevents Obesity, StudyBy Staff Reporter, UniversityHerald Reporter
Brief episodes of intense physical activity can put a stop to excess weight gain, according to a study published this week in the American Journal of Health Promotion. Researchers claimed that higher-intensity activity was linked to lower risk of obesity even if the duration was less than 10 minutes.
"What we learned is that for preventing weight gain, the intensity of the activity matters more than duration," said Dr. Jessie X. Fan, professor of family and consumer studies at the University of Utah and the study leader."Knowing that even short bouts of brisk activity can add up to a positive effect is an encouraging message for promoting better health."
The findings prove to be good news for people who loathe exercises. Researchers said that taking the stairs instead of an elevator, parking on the other side of a parking lot, and walking to the store for household tasks and odd jobs can help people lose weight.
Fan said that this was an important discovery because less than 5 percent of American adults follow the guidelines suggested by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The institute recommends Americans to undertake a minimum of 150 minutes of Moderate to Vigorous Physical Activity (MVPA) per week, which can also be achieved in eight to 10 minute periods.
Researchers arrived at the conclusion after studying the data of 2,202 women and 2,309 men who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) between 2003 and 2006. At the time, the participants wore accelerometers over seven days to measure their physical activity.
Researchers analyzed the exercise based on the intensity and duration of each session. Participants were divided into four groups - exercising in high intensity bouts for greater or less than 10 minutes and low-intensity bouts greater or less than 10 minutes.
Among the women, those who were involved in high-intensity, short bouts of exercise showed a decrease of .07 Body Mass Index (BMI). Similar results were found in men too.
Plus, researchers also found that if women engaged in high intensity exercise every minute, they lowered the chances of obesity by 5 percent. On the other hand, men involved in similar activity decreased the odds of obesity by 2 percent.