A study published on January 12, 2021 led by the University of Oxford said that there’s no upper threshold to the benefits of exercise in reducing risk of cardiovascular disease.
Researchers added that both moderate and vigorous physical activity resulted in a health benefit.
In the Oxford study of more than 90,000 people, researchers found that not only is physical activity associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, but also those who are active at the highest levels achieve the greatest benefit to heart health. The results of this study enhance confidence that physical activity is likely to be an important way of preventing cardiovascular disease.
The researchers found there was an association between the amount of total physical activity, as well as moderate and vigorous physical activity, and a reduction in incidence of cardiovascular disease.
Those who were the most active among the participants were found to have a reduction in cardiovascular disease risk between 48 and 57 percent.
Those who were in the top 25 percent of moderate intensity activity experienced a reduction in cardiovascular disease risk between 49 and 59 percent.
The lowest risk for cardiovascular disease was seen in those in the top quarter of vigorous intensity physical activity. They saw a reduction in risk between 54 and 63 percent.
Those who exercised more were also more likely to not smoke, have moderate alcohol intake, and have a healthy BMI. Even after factoring this in, an association between exercise and a reduction in cardiovascular disease risk was still seen.
The benefits of exercise have no threshold effect. That is, any amount of exercise contributed to cardiovascular benefit. The benefits of exercise on cardiovascular health are numerous, and include better blood pressure, blood sugar, body weight, triglycerides, and sleep.