Various organizations suggest engaging in physical activity for specific amounts of time in order to improve health markers. According to the Danish Diet, Cancer and Health cohort, participation in leisure-time activity—regardless of amount of time spent—may improve mortality rates.

Published in Epidemiology (2013; 24 [5], 717-25), the study followed 29,129 women and 26,576 men, aged 50-64, for about 13-17 years. Investigators queried participants on the type and amount of time spent on leisure time activity. By the time the study ended, 2,696 women and 4,044 men had died.

“We found lower mortality with participation in sports, cycling, or gardening, and in men participating in do-it-yourself activity,” the study authors stated.

The authors also noted that amount of time engaged in activity did not correlate with any outcome.
“Mortality was lower with participation in specific leisure time physical activities, but not with more time spent on those activities,” they added. “Nonparticipation in these types of physical activity may be considered as risk factors.”

Ryan Halvorson

Ryan Halvorson is an award-winning writer and editor. He is a long-time author and presenter for IDEA Health & Fitness Association, fitness industry consultant and former director of group training for Bird Rock Fit. He is also a Master Trainer for TriggerPoint.

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