Physical Activity Guidelines May Improve Survival

Adherence to guidelines most beneficial for adults with at least one chronic health condition

WEDNESDAY, April 20 (HealthDay News) -- Meeting the recommendations set out in the federal 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans is associated with reduced all-cause mortality in U.S. adults, according to a study published online April 5 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Charlotte A. Schoenborn, M.P.H., from the National Center for Health Statistics in Hyattsville, Md., and Manfred Stommel, Ph.D., from Michigan State University in East Lansing, compared the relative mortality risks for U.S. adults who did and did not meet the new 2008 federal guidelines for physical activity. Using data from the 1997 to 2004 National Health Interview Survey, and linked mortality records, the relative mortality risks were examined for 242,397 U.S. adults aged 18 years and older. Risks were examined separately for adults with and without chronic health conditions.

The researchers found that adherence to the suggestions for aerobic activity was correlated with survival benefits, especially for those adults with chronic health conditions (estimated hazard ratio, 0.65 to 0.75; P < 0.05). Strengthening activities added to the survival benefit of those who did aerobic exercise, but did not confer an independent benefit. The greatest relative benefit of physical activity was seen in adults with at least one chronic health condition.

"Adherence to the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines at the time of the baseline interview was associated with reduced all-cause mortality risks over the follow-up period among arepresentative sample of U.S. adults," the authors write.

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