1. In this study, compared to no aerobic physical activity (PA), substantial mortality risk reduction was associated with 1 hour/week of aerobic PA and levelled off at 3 hours/week.
2. Muscle strengthening exercise (MSE) conferred additional mortality risk reduction at 1 time/week, but was no longer beneficial at 7 times/week.

Evidence Rating Level: 2 (Good)

Despite its numerous benefits, more than 1 billion adults do not meet the standard World Health Organization recommendations. Although recent analyses have examined the association between physical activity and all-cause mortality risk, minimal evidence exists surrounding minimum effective doses. As a result, the objective of the present prospective cohort study was to identify the dose-response association and minimum effective doses of aerobic PA and MSE required to result in a clinically significant lower all-cause mortality risk.

The present study used National Health Interview Survey data (1997-2014) and included 416 420 adults from the United States (US). Participants were excluded if they were not permanent residents of the United States, were in correctional facilities, active duty military, or in long-term care facilities. Activity levels were reported using a standardized questionnaire. The study adhered to the Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (STROBE) guidelines. Cox proportional-hazard models were used to evaluate the association between physical activity and all-cause mortality.

Results demonstrated that compared to no aerobic PA, substantial mortality risk reduction was associated with 1 hour/week of aerobic PA and levelled off at 3 hours/week. Muscle strengthening exercise (MSE) conferred additional mortality risk reduction at 1 time/week but was no longer beneficial at 7 times/week. Despite these results, the study was limited by the self-reported nature of physical activity. Nevertheless, this longitudinal analysis of data from a large sample of US adults allowed for a greater understanding of the relationship between PA/MSE and mortality, and may inform US healthcare providers.

Click to read the study in British Journal of Sports Medicine

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