THURSDAY, July 2, 2020 (HealthDay News) — The risk of all-cause and cause-specific mortality is reduced for adults who engage in leisure time aerobic and muscle strengthening activities at levels recommended by the 2018 physical activity guidelines, according to a study published online July 1 in The BMJ.

Min Zhao, from Shandong University in Jinan, China, and colleagues conducted a population-based cohort study using data from the National Health Interview Survey (1997 to 2014) with linkage to the National Death Index records to Dec. 31, 2015, for 479,856 adults aged 18 years or older to examine the correlation between recommended physical activity according to the 2018 guidelines and mortality.

The researchers found that 59,819 adults died from all causes. Those who engaged in recommended muscle strengthening activity (21,428 participants) or aerobic activity (113,851 participants) were at reduced risk of all-cause mortality compared with those who did not meet the physical activity guidelines (268,193 participants) (hazard ratios, 0.89 and 0.71, respectively); those engaged in both activities had even larger survival benefits (hazard ratio, 0.60). For cause-specific mortality from cardiovascular disease, cancer, and chronic lower respiratory tract diseases, similar patterns were reported.

“Our findings support that the physical activity levels recommended in the 2018 physical activity guidelines for Americans provide important survival benefits,” the authors write. “Additionally, in accordance with the guidelines, more physical activity than the minimum recommendation could provide greater health benefits.”

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