[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
Views 73,118
Citations 0
Original Investigation
January 9, 2017

Association of “Weekend Warrior” and Other Leisure Time Physical Activity Patterns With Risks for All-Cause, Cardiovascular Disease, and Cancer Mortality

Author Affiliations
  • 1Diabetes Research Centre, College of Medicine, Biological Sciences and Psychology, University of Leicester, Leicester General Hospital, Leicester, England
  • 2currently with the School of Sport, Exercise, and Health Sciences, National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine–East Midlands, Loughborough University, Loughborough, England
  • 3Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Harvard University, Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 4School of Sport, Exercise, and Health Sciences, National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine–East Midlands, Loughborough University, Loughborough, England
  • 5Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London, London, England
  • 6Charles Perkins Centre, Prevention Research Collaboration, School of Public Health, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
  • 7Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
JAMA Intern Med. Published online January 9, 2017. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.8014
Key Points

Question  What are the associations of physical activity patterns with mortality?

Findings  This pooled analysis of population-based surveys included 63 591 adult respondents. All-cause mortality risk was approximately 30% lower in active vs inactive adults, including “weekend warrior” respondents who performed the recommended amount of 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous activity from 1 or 2 sessions per week, insufficiently active respondents who performed less than the recommended amount from 1 or 2 sessions per week, and regularly active respondents who performed the recommended amount from 3 or more sessions per week.

Meaning  Weekend warrior, insufficient, and regular physical activity patterns may reduce mortality risk.

Abstract

Importance  More research is required to clarify the association between physical activity and health in “weekend warriors” who perform all their exercise in 1 or 2 sessions per week.

Objective  To investigate associations between the weekend warrior and other physical activity patterns and the risks for all-cause, cardiovascular disease (CVD), and cancer mortality.

Design, Setting, and Participants  This pooled analysis of household-based surveillance studies included 11 cohorts of respondents to the Health Survey for England and Scottish Health Survey with prospective linkage to mortality records. Respondents 40 years or older were included in the analysis. Data were collected from 1994 to 2012 and analyzed in 2016.

Exposures  Self-reported leisure time physical activity, with activity patterns defined as inactive (reporting no moderate- or vigorous-intensity activities), insufficiently active (reporting <150 min/wk in moderate-intensity and <75 min/wk in vigorous-intensity activities), weekend warrior (reporting ≥150 min/wk in moderate-intensity or ≥75 min/wk in vigorous-intensity activities from 1 or 2 sessions), and regularly active (reporting ≥150 min/wk in moderate-intensity or ≥75 min/wk in vigorous-intensity activities from ≥3 sessions). The insufficiently active participants were also characterized by physical activity frequency.

Main Outcomes and Measures  All-cause, CVD, and cancer mortality ascertained from death certificates.

Results  Among the 63 591 adult respondents (45.9% male; 44.1% female; mean [SD] age, 58.6 [11.9] years), 8802 deaths from all causes, 2780 deaths from CVD, and 2526 from cancer occurred during 561 159 person-years of follow-up. Compared with the inactive participants, the hazard ratio (HR) for all-cause mortality was 0.66 (95% CI, 0.62-0.72) in insufficiently active participants who reported 1 to 2 sessions per week, 0.70 (95% CI, 0.60-0.82) in weekend warrior participants, and 0.65 (95% CI, 0.58-0.73) in regularly active participants. Compared with the inactive participants, the HR for CVD mortality was 0.60 (95% CI, 0.52-0.69) in insufficiently active participants who reported 1 or 2 sessions per week, 0.60 (95% CI, 0.45-0.82) in weekend warrior participants, and 0.59 (95% CI, 0.48-0.73) in regularly active participants. Compared with the inactive participants, the HR for cancer mortality was 0.83 (95% CI, 0.73-0.94) in insufficiently active participants who reported 1 or 2 sessions per week, 0.82 (95% CI, 0.63-1.06) in weekend warrior participants, and 0.79 (95% CI, 0.66-0.94) in regularly active participants.

Conclusions and Relevance  Weekend warrior and other leisure time physical activity patterns characterized by 1 or 2 sessions per week may be sufficient to reduce all-cause, CVD, and cancer mortality risks regardless of adherence to prevailing physical activity guidelines.

×