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Comment & Response
August 2017

Is Weekend-Only Physical Activity Enough to Compensate for a Sedentary Lifestyle?

Author Affiliations
  • 1Research Institute of Hospital 12 de Octubre (“i+12”), Madrid, Spain
  • 2i+HeALTH, Department of Health Sciences, European University Miguel de Cervantes, Valladolid, Spain
  • 3Universidad Europea de Madrid, Madrid, Spain
JAMA Intern Med. 2017;177(8):1223-1224. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2017.2374

To the Editor In their Original Investigation in a recent issue of JAMA Internal Medicine, O’Donovan et al1 have shown that all-cause mortality, as well as cardiovascular disease and cancer mortality, were all significantly lower in individuals who met international physical activity (PA) guidelines issued by the US Department of Health2 and the World Health Organization3 (ie, performing PA ≥3 days/week to accumulate 150 min/wk of moderate-intensity PA, corresponding to 3.0-5.9 metabolic equivalents [METs], where 1 MET is the resting metabolic rate or ≥75 min/wk of vigorous-intensity PA [≥6 METs], or a combination of the above) compared with inactive individuals reporting no moderate or vigorous-intensity PA over a normal week (hazard ratio [HR] for all-cause mortality, 0.65; 95% CI, 0.58-0.73). Importantly, compared with inactive individuals, HR was also lower not only in those not meeting international recommendations of total weekly PA time despite doing PA on 3 or more days per week (ie, insufficiently active; HR, 0.69; 95% CI, 0.65-0.74) but also in those reporting doing PA only on 1 to 2 days per week (ie, weekend warriors; HR, 0.70; 95% CI, 0.60-0.82). These results are important because they indicate the tremendous potential of PA, even at small doses, to decrease mortality risk and emphasize the concept that even a little PA is probably much better than none.

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