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10 Minutes of Physical Activity Cuts Mortality Risk by 32%!

physical activity reduces the risk of death

Physical activity has numerous benefits. It is best for muscle and bone health.

In elderly individuals, it can help reduce the incidence of cardiovascular and obesity-associated medical conditions.

Physical activity is one of the best interventions for mental health and stress relief. It boosts immunity and may lead to a longer and healthier life.

New Study Reveals the Life-Saving Power of Daily Physical Activity: How Exercise Can Offset the Dangers of Sitting

Key points:

  • More than 12 hours a day of inactivity were linked to a higher risk of death, especially for individuals who did fewer than 22 mins a day of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA).
  • When compared to reducing inactive time, the joint analysis showed that boosting physical activity had a more substantial effect on lowering mortality risk.
  • The findings of the study emphasized the significance of consistent MVPA in promoting longevity and proposed that increasing MVPA might reduce mortality risk more effectively than simply reducing inactivity.

Physical Activity and Health Benefits:

physical activity in old age benefits

Ever since the pandemic occurred in 2020, people have been living a sedentary lifestyle, which has affected their lives in several ways [Ref].

These unhealthy practices did not just stop there but continued to affect lives even after the pandemic was over.

Previous studies have also concluded the link between a continuous sedentary lifestyle and an increase in all-cause mortality risks [Ref].

Obesity, CVD, and diabetes are just a few of the disorders that show up once a person adopts a significantly disturbing lifestyle.

On the same subject, a study investigated the link among device-measured physical activity, sedentary time, and risk of all-cause mortality.

The study concluded that sedentary time was associated with a higher risk of mortality, particularly for individuals who engaged in limited physical activity (less than 22 minutes per day).

In contrast, higher levels of physical activity were consistently linked to a reduced risk of mortality, regardless of the amount of time spent sedentary [Ref].

This fresh study is not the first one about this association, but it contributes to the importance of physical activity and healthy practices.


Study analysis and findings:

Using information from four cohort studies based in Norway, Sweden, and the USA, researchers analyzed each participant’s data.

A total of 11,989 subjects were involved in this study, and they were aged 50 or above. Their data was collected between 2003 and 2016.

Measurements for physical activity and sedentary time were taken by using hip accelerometry.

Researchers concluded that subjects who practiced more than 12 hours of sedentary lifestyle had an increased risk of mortality than those subjects who practiced only 8 hours or less.

Nevertheless, this relation was significant in those individuals who performed less than 22 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) daily.

The research demonstrated that higher levels of MVPA were linked with a decreased risk of mortality, regardless of the amount of time spent sedentary.

For instance, for every 10 additional minutes of daily MVPA, there was a significant decrease in mortality risk.

Participants who performed moderately vigorous activity for 10 minutes or more compared to those who did not had a 28 – 55% lower risk of death [Ref]


Why do more people adopt a sedentary lifestyle?

sedentary lifestyle physcial activity

Individuals older than 15 years of age engage in inadequate sedentary lifestyles, which contributes to a high death toll every year [Ref].

Multiple factors influence this behavior, including air pollution, traffic congestion, lack of parks or pedestrian walkways, & a lack of sports or leisure facilities.

Such factors lead to increased physical inactivity, which is known to be the fourth leading cause of death [Ref].

Another significant reason is the excessive usage of the internet, which leads to reduced activities, as reported by a study from 2017 [Ref].

Furthermore, there is a rise in work-related sedentary lifestyles as more people are leading an office job or a remote one that requires no significant physical activity.

This practice is associated with a high BMI and fat deposition, which can be hazardous if not avoided [Ref].


Physical activity and its importance

physical activity and its benefits

According to the CDC, the benefits range from improved brain health to a longer lifespan [Ref].

Experts advise acquiring at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week.

Why? Because it helps control your weight, lowers the chance of chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes, and even gives your mental well-being a boost.

On the other side, there are vigorous exercises that get your heart rate pumping. The recommended time here is at least 75 minutes per week of intense activity.

The benefits of vigorous activity include even more calorie burning, making it fantastic for weight management, and it is like a turbo boost for your heart health.

You’ll also experience that post-exercise mood lift, feeling more relaxed and happy.

Both types of activity do wonders for your sleep, mood, and brainpower. They keep your muscles and bones in great shape, support better posture, and reduce the risk of falls and injuries, especially as you age.


Physical activity can reverse any health damage

A Havard study from 2022 showed that exercising can reverse damage to one’s heart health [Ref].

Taking a stroll every day and engaging in strength training twice a week can potentially alleviate heart stiffness and enhance one’s cardiovascular well-being.

Similarly, previous research has concluded that a proper exercise routine before the age of 65 is capable of reversing all damage done to an aging heart.

However, this exercise needs to be appropriately managed with a healthy diet, and it can maximize oxygen uptake and decrease cardiac stiffness 10.

The bottom line

The new research was focused on older adults, which stressed the need for research on all age groups.

Nevertheless, the findings tell a lot about how something as basic as a brisk walk can reduce the mortality chance.

The study found that even 10 minutes of activity after 6 hours of sedentary living can bring a 32% drop in mortality risk.

So, even the bare minimum can oppose the health hazards caused by prolonged physical inactivity.

To conclude, indulging in daily exercise can help boost your health and diminish the effects of past unhealthy habits.


What do you think?

Written by Dr. Ahmed

I am Dr. Ahmed (MBBS; FCPS Medicine), an Internist and a practicing physician. I am in the medical field for over fifteen years working in one of the busiest hospitals and writing medical posts for over 5 years.

I love my family, my profession, my blog, nature, hiking, and simple life. Read more about me, my family, and my qualifications

Here is a link to My Facebook Page. You can also contact me by email at or at My Twitter Account
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