Inadequate physical activity is a global health problem and is responsible for 6-10% of major chronic illnesses worldwide. This study aims at deriving a relation between recommended physical activity according to the 2018 physical activity guidelines for Americans and all-cause and cause-specific mortality.

This cohort study is population-based and includes data from the National Health Interview Survey (1997-2014) and National Death Index records until 31 December 2015. The study included 4,79,856 adults aged 18 and older. The participants were categorized into four groups: insufficient activity, aerobic activity, muscle strengthening, and both aerobic and muscle strengthening. This information was then linked to the all-cause and cause-specific mortality data extracted from the National Death Index records.

During the median follow-up of 8.75 years, 59,819 adults died from all causes, 14,375 from cancer, 13,509 from cardiovascular disease, 3,188 from chronic lower respiratory tract diseases, 2,477 from accidents and injuries, 1,803 from diabetes mellitus, 1470 from Alzheimer’s disease, 1135 from influenza and pneumonia, and 1129 from urinary tract infections. Out of the total participants, those engaged in the recommended muscle strength training and aerobic activity were found to be at a lower risk of all-cause mortality. Similar patterns were observed in cause-specific mortality from cardiovascular disease, cancer, and chronic lower respiratory tract diseases.

The research concluded that adults who engage in the recommended aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities are at a reduced risk for all-cause and cause-specific mortality.