Every Minute Helps Prevent Weight Gain
By: Jan Eickmeier
In combating weight gain, as in life, every minute counts, according to research conducted at the University of Utah.
Specifically, every minute of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) done by the participants of this study was associated with a lower body mass index and risk of obesity.
Current guidelines call for getting at least 150 minutes of MVPA per week. That amount can be obtained through a few longer workouts or several short bouts of about 10 minutes each, according to most recommendations. This study found that even shorter bouts of MVPA could add up and help keep weight in check.
Researchers analyzed data from 2,202 women and 2,309 men. The participants wore accelerometers for seven days to measure their activity levels. MVPA was defined as greater than 2,020 counts per minute, the equivalent of a brisk walk at 3 miles per hour. The study participants were divided into four groups: higher-intensity bouts (more than 2,020 counts per minute) that lasted more than 10 minutes; shorter bouts of higher-intensity activity (less than 10 minutes); lower-intensity long bouts; and short lower-intensity bouts.
Adding up short bouts of MVPA, researchers found that men accumulated 246 minutes per week and women accumulated 144 minutes per week. For women, each daily minute spent in MVPA was associated with a decrease of about a half pound of weight. Results were similar for men.
Each daily minute spent in MVPA was also associated with a 5% lower risk of obesity for women and a 2% lower risk for men.
What are some of your favorite workout routines to maintain a healthy weight?