Random studies over the last five years suggest that the intensity of physical activity has little effect on mortality risk, but being active is better for quality of life.
Physical activity is one of the most important public health measures to maintain good health. Its many advantages are immeasurable. Among other things, it helps improve body composition, reduce chronic illness, adopt other healthy lifestyles, and influence the expression of certain genes. All these interactions lead to a consensus that physical activity is the basis of health at all ages and reduces the risk of death. A recent randomization study was published in the British Medical Journal. It has been conducted by senior Norwegian and Australian researchers for five years and aims to answer this question. In addition to the frequency of sports, does its intensity also affect life expectancy?
How was the study conducted?
In 2012, scientists began appealing to people aged 70-77 in Trondheim, Norway’s old town, founded in 997 by Viking King Olaf Triggvason. One did not have to suffer to be included in the study:
- Uncontrolled hypertension (untreated systolic blood pressure> 220 mmHg or diastolic blood pressure> 110 mm Hg)
- Symptomatic valvular disease
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
- Unstable angina
- Primary pulmonary hypertension
- heart failure
- Severe cardiac arrhythmia
- Diagnosed with dementia
Over 6,966 people volunteered. Of course, not all of them have been found in the study. Exactly 285 people did not meet the criteria, so 5,114 people eventually decided not to participate. Therefore, only 1,567 people participated in the study. They were randomly divided into three groups:
- The· HIIT The (High Intensity Interval Training) group was asked to hold a 10-minute activity session twice a week.
- Medium intensity continuous training (MICT) groups were assigned 50 minutes of activity sessions twice a week.
- The control group followed the national public health guidelines for physical activity (ie, 30 minutes of activity per day).
Participants in the study were monitored every 6 weeks, and after 1, 3, and 5 years, key data and exercise compliance were collected. Researchers first wanted to know how these different types of training programs affect mortality. This was their main goal. Second, they decided to record and measure cardiopulmonary health and self-reported quality of life changes. They regarded these two factors as important indicators for predicting lifespan.
Minor impact on lifespan
Finally, a comparison of the three groups at the end of the study showed that the effect on mortality between the groups was not significant. This suggests that strength is not a decisive factor in lifespan. In contrast, respiratory status was significantly better, and the difference between the HIIT and MICT groups was statistically significant compared to the control group at this endpoint. Similarly, individuals in the HIIT group reported improvements in quality of life at the end of the study.
However, this study has major unhidden drawbacks. First, control participants had a high frequency of physical activity throughout the study and often performed tasks by performing HIIT-type exercise. Even if there are differences between groups, this can make some differences insignificant. In addition, more than half of the people in the HIIT group were unable to strictly and rigorously comply with the program’s requirements. All of the recruited participants were much healthier than those excluded from the protocol, so there is a suspicion of bias in selection. Finally, the authors suggest that future physical activity guidelines, at least for the elderly, should be more specific by requiring that at least part of the exercise be performed at high intensity. ..
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