HealthDay News — Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) is associated with reduced mortality risk, regardless of whether it is accumulated in bouts, according to a study published online March 22 in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Pedro F. Saint-Maurice, Ph.D., from the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Md., and colleagues analyzed data from the 2003 to 2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) and death records available through 2011 to examine the correlations between objectively measured physical activity accumulated with and without bout criteria and all-cause mortality. 

Data were included for 4,840 adults aged 40 and older. Physical activity data were processed to generate minutes/day of total and bouted MVPA, with bouted MVPA defined as MVPA accumulated in bouts of a minimum duration of five or 10 minutes.

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The researchers found that there were similar hazard ratios for all-cause mortality associated with total and bouted MVPA, ranging from 0.24 for the third quartile of total MVPA to 0.44 for the second quartile of 10-minute bouts. Greater amounts of bouted MVPA did not result in additional risk reductions for mortality.

“These results provide evidence that mortality risk reductions associated with MVPA are independent of how activity is accumulated and can impact the development of physical activity guidelines and inform clinical practice,” the authors write.

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