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New research reveals that even 3-4 one-minute bursts of puffing and huffing during daily work are connected with significant decreases in the risk of early death, especially from heart disease. This is good news for individuals who don’t enjoy playing sports or visiting the gym.

VILPA are brief bursts of physical activity 

The study published in Nature Medicine led by the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Center in Australia is the first to measure the health benefits of what researchers call “vigorous intermittent lifestyle physical activity” (VILPA). 

VILPA stands for very brief bursts of intense physical activity, lasting approximately 1-2 minutes. Examples of VILPA include sprinting to catch the bus, sprinting while carrying errands, and playing high-intensity games with the children.

The researchers discovered that performing just 3-4 one-minute sessions of VILPA daily can reduce mortality from all causes and cancer by up to 40% and heart disease deaths by up to 49%. 

Lead study author Emmanuel Stamatakis, a Physical Activity, Lifestyle and Population Health Professor at the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Center, said the study demonstrates the same benefits of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) could be attained by enhancing the intensity of activities done during the day. Short bouts of around 3-4 minutes a day can go a long way, and several activities can be changed to raise the heart rate for one minute or more.

Regular exercise may help overcome various barriers 

The study, according to Professor Stamatakis, illustrates how incidental regular exercise could overcome a number of barriers, even though most persons over 40 do not engage in physical activity or sport.

Stamatakis said that increasing the daily activities intensity doesn’t involve any specific skills, club memberships, or time commitment. Instead, it merely entails walking faster or working around the house with somewhat more vigour.

It’s fascinating to note that results from comparing the strenuous physical activity of 62,000 individuals who regularly exercised were similar. This suggests that the health effect is not compromised by whether the strenuous activity is performed as part of the scheduled exercise or household chores.