“One hour, 45 minutes, 30 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes broken up into three 10 minute intervals…” Would somebody please make a recommendation and stick with it!

In defense of my fellow colleagues, it is difficult to say for certain how many exact minutes of exercise are needed per day for maximum health benefit. Some are more active in their jobs than others, some are at a small risk of serious disease whether they exercise or not, and others are obese or are have a strong family history of chronic disease and need to be strict with including a certain amount of daily physical activity.

Still, a general recommendation should be made so we can know, at the least, how many minutes of exercise are needed per day to benefit.

Fortunately, as of August 2011, researchers in Taiwan are now able to make a strong recommendation on the minimum amount of exercise needed per day for health benefit.

In this study, 416, 175 individuals participated in a standard medical screening program from 1996 to 2008. They were given a questionnaire which asked how much they exercised on average. Choices for activity levels were: inactive, low, medium, high, or very high activity.

In comparison to the inactive group, the low activity group had a 14% reduced risk in mortality and a 3 year increased life span! Every additional 15 minutes of daily exercise beyond the minimum amount of 15 minutes a day further reduced all-cause mortality by 4% and all-cancer mortality by 1%.

So, if you exercise 45 minutes per day, you have 22% reduced risk of mortality and a 4% reduced risk of developing any kind of cancer.

The more you exercise, the more you reduce your risk of health problems.

Fifteen minutes minimum. It would take this long to find a good excuse not to workout! 🙂

Reference:
“Minimum amount of physical activity for reduced mortality and extended life expectancy: a prospective cohort study.”
Chi Pang Wen, Jackson Pui Man Wai, Min Kuang Tsai, Yi Chen Yang, Ting Yuan David Cheng, Meng-Chih Lee, Hui Ting Chan, Chwen Keng Tsao, Shan Pou Tsai, Xifeng Wu.
The Lancet, 16 August 2011; DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(11)60749-6
Link to Article.