In simple terms, the question was: in the population of female nurses aged 40 – 65 years old, was brisk walking as effective as vigorous exercise in reducing the incidence of coronary events (eg heart attacks)
What did they find? Sedentary women who became active in middle adulthood or later had a lower risk of coronary events than their counterparts who remained sedentary. Their data suggests that brisk walking and vigorous exercise are associated with substantial and similar reductions in the incidence of coronary events among women.
Why is this important?
- Well, this study is often the reason why people say “walking is better than doing nothing”. *brisk walking is better than doing nothing.
- Moderate intensity exercise for at least 30 minutes on most (preferably all) days of the week (e.g., brisk walking for three or more hours per week) could reduce the risk of coronary events in women by 30 to 40 percent.
- Increasing walking time or combining walking with vigorous exercise appears to be associated with even greater risk reductions.
The fine print:
Remember it’s a single outcome study – which is to say that people were assessed for the single outcome of a coronary event. They looked at exercise (but relied on people reporting this accurately) – they didn’t look at whole nutrition, stress, sleep and mental health: all of which have been found to impact heart health.
Participants were free of diagnosed cardiovascular disease or cancer at the time of entry and completed serial detailed questionnaires about physical activity. During eight years of follow-up, they documented 645 incident coronary events (nonfatal myocardial infarction or death from coronary disease).
Get the paper: http://www.schulwandern.de/assets/adb/13/134a052fe1f82f0e.pdf
Australia’s Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines