Physical activity guidelines may be inadequate to prevent heart failure

We all know that physical activity plays a significant role in our health now and in the future, but are we doing enough?

New evidence suggests that the government recommendations of 150-minutes a week are inadequate to substantially reduce your risk of developing heart failure in the future. In fact, we should all need to be doing two to four times that amount of physical activity to significantly affect our heart health.

In their meta-analysis, published in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation, the researchers looked at eight studies and analysed the results together. They found that people reporting doing 150-minutes of activity a week only had a 10% lower risk of going on to develop heart failure within the average 13-year follow-up period compared to people doing no physical activity. The researchers said this result was ‘not good enough’, and we agree.

The more activity people did, the more they reduced their risk – twice the government recommendations (300-minutes a week) reduced risk by 19%, with a 35% lower risk in heart failure in those reporting four times the recommendations (600-minutes a week). Importantly, this relationship stayed consistent across age, sex, race, and countries studied.

This isn’t the first large-scale study to show that more physical activity is better for reducing your risk of developing a number of different preventable diseases. If you look back at our blog from the last few months, you’ll see that we’ve reported on a number of them.

There is no denying that some activity is better than none – in fact, back in August this year we reported the results of one large study in Sweden that showed the benefits of 20-minutes a day on heart failure. But, if we take all the evidence together we can say with some certainty that the more activity you do the greater the benefit to your health.

The important thing is knowing what “counts” for you, only then can you decide how you want to be active. That’s where the KiActiv Solutions come in.

Physical activity is multi-dimensional activity, with each dimension having independent and important benefits to our health. The activities that “count” will be different for each of us. For some of us activity might mean walking the dog, for others 9-holes of golf, it might even be something that may seem small and insignificant, like taking the stairs instead of the elevator. It might be all of the above.

If it “counts”, fits seamlessly into your day and you enjoy it, then it’s probably the right activity for you.

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