At the population level, meeting and maintaining at least the minimum public health recommendations (150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity physical activity) would potentially prevent 46% of deaths associated with physical inactivity, say the researchers.
Previous studies have linked physical activity to lower risk of death, cardiovascular disease, and certain cancers. But few studies have looked at how changes in physical activity over time are associated with subsequent risk of death.
Knowledge - Gap - Researchers - MRC - Epidemiology
So to address this knowledge gap, researchers from the MRC Epidemiology Unit at the University of Cambridge analysed how long term changes in physical activity are associated with risk of all-cause, cardiovascular and cancer deaths.
They used data for 14,599 men and women aged 40-79 from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition-Norfolk (EPIC-Norfolk) study, who were recruited between 1993-1997.
Participants - Start - Study - Times - Average
Participants were assessed at the start of the study and then a further three times over an average of 7.6 years, along with other risk factors up to 2004. From this point in time, mortality was assessed up to 2016, for an average of 12.5 years of follow-up.
Physical activity energy expenditure (PAEE) was derived from questionnaires and calibrated against combined movement and heart monitoring measurements.
Activity - Activity - Work - Office - Work
Overall physical activity included activity at work (e.g. sedentary office work, standing work, physical and heavy manual work) and leisure-time activity, such as cycling, sports and recreational activities.
During the study period, there were 3,148 deaths, including 950 deaths from cardiovascular disease and 1,091 deaths from cancer.
Activity - Risk - Factors - Bodyweight - History
After controlling for existing physical activity and other risk factors such as diet, bodyweight, medical history, blood pressure and cholesterol levels, higher physical activity levels and increases in physical activity over time...
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