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A Queen’s University study has revealed evidence that the total amount of exercise performed per week may be as important, if not more important, than the frequency.
The study looked at the aerobic workout habits of 2,324 adults from across Canada in an effort to determine whether the frequency of physical activity throughout the week was associated with risk factors for diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
The subjects were divided into two groups; those who were frequently active – active five to seven days per week and those who were infrequently active – active only one to four days per week. All wore accelerometers to measure their physical activity.
“The findings indicate that it does not matter how adults choose to accumulate their 150 weekly minutes of physical activity,” says lead researcher Dr. Ian Janssen.
“Someone who did not perform any physical activity on Monday to Friday but was active for 150 minutes over the weekend would obtain the same health benefits from their activity as someone who accumulated 150 minutes of activity over the week by doing 20-25 minutes of activity on a daily basis.”
The take-home message being that adults should aim to perform at least 150 minutes of weekly aerobic activity whether all at once or spread out over time, however it suits their individual schedule.