Exercise reduces risk of cardiovascular disease, only half of U.S. adults meet the federally recommended guidelines

heart5A new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology from the ACC Sports and Exercise Cardiology Leadership Council has demonstrated that only half of U.S adults meet the federally recommended exercise guidelines.

The federally recommended guidelines suggest 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity exercise or 75 minutes per week of vigorous intensity exercise.

Small amounts of physical activity, including standing, are associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. Increased exercise leads to a greater reduction in death from cardiovascular disease.

“The evidence with regard to exercise continues to unfold and educate the cardiovascular clinical community,” said JACC Editor-in-Chief Valentin Fuster, M.D., Ph.D. “The greatest benefit is to simply exercise, regardless of the intensity, while the danger is two-fold: to not exercise at all or to exercise intensely, without due preparation.”

“The public media has embraced the idea that exercise may harm the heart and disseminated this message, thereby diverting attention away from the benefits of exercise as a potent intervention for the primary and secondary prevention of heart disease,” said Michael Scott Emery, M.D., co-chair of the ACC Sports and Exercise Cardiology Council.

The research analysis demonstrated that moderate and vigorous intensity exercise in amounts lower than the 2008 Physical Activity Guideline recommendations still significantly lower mortality risk in different populations around the globe. Increasing the amount of moderate intensity exercise a person engages in results in increased reductions in cardiovascular disease mortality..

“The available evidence should prompt clinicians to recommend strongly low and moderate exercise training for the majority of our patients,” Emery said. “Equally important are initiatives to promote population health at large through physical activity across the life span, as it modulates behavior from childhood into adult life.”


Thijs M.H. Eijsvogels, Silvana Molossi, Duck-chul Lee, Michael S. Emery, Paul D. Thompson. Exercise at the Extremes. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 2016; 67 (3): 316 DOI: 10.1016/j.jacc.2015.11.034

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