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January 09, 2017

Physical Activity on the WeekendCan It Wait Until Then?

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University, Washington, DC
  • 2Department of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University, Washington, DC
JAMA Intern Med. Published online January 9, 2017. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.8050

The World Health Organization (WHO)1 and the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)2 recommend a minimum of 150 min/wk of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (or 75 min/wk of vigorous-intensity activity). These recommendations suggest that “substantial” health benefits accrue by meeting the recommended minimum level of physical activity and that “additional” benefit can be gained by performing more than the minimum level.1,2 The HHS and WHO guidelines advise that the recommended level of physical activity be spread throughout the week. Because the optimal combination of physical activity frequency, intensity, and duration to reduce mortality risk remains poorly understood, interest is emerging in the relative benefits of compressing recommended levels of activity into 1 to 2 days per week to accommodate time constraints.

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