Good news for workaholics | Sunday Observer

Good news for workaholics

23 July, 2023

Being a ‘weekend warrior’ boosts heart health as much as working out daily, new research suggests.

People who cram exercise into one or two sessions on Saturdays and Sundays significantly lower the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

Those who took part in intensive exercise a couple of times a week slashed their chances of heart attacks by 27 per cent compared to 35 percent for those who exercise regularly.

This exercise pattern protected against heart attacks, heart failure, stroke and atrial fibrillation (Afib) - the most common form of irregular heartbeat.

Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital studied data on 89,573 participants in the UK Biobank, which holds information on their genes and health.

Participants wore accelerometer wrist devices for a week and were tracked for an average of more than six years.

It is recommended adults do at least 150 of moderate, or 75 minutes of vigorous, intensity exercise is advised each week.

Being either weekend warriors and active-regular reduce their chances of heart failure by 38 and 36 percent, respectively, atrial fibrillation by 22 and 19 percent and stroke, by 21 and 17 percent, compared to those who do little or no exercise.

Experts said the findings have implications for those who struggle to find time owing to work or family commitments.

They may find it easier to fit less frequent bouts of physical activity into busy lifestyles, according to the findings presented in JAMA Internal Medicine.

The NHS recommends moderate to vigorous physical activity (MPVA) be spread evenly over four to five days a week - or every day.

The study identified a weekend warrior pattern as common - applying to more than half of active individuals.

Varying activity patterns were observed to have similar associations with lower risk of AFib, heart attck, heart failure and stroke.

Rates of musculo-skeletal injuries were also similar in both groups - allaying concerns concentrated bursts of energy increase the risk.

The findings suggest engagement in physical activity, regardless of pattern, may optimise risk across a broad spectrum of cardiovascular diseases.

Dr Patrick Ellinor, of Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, said: ‘Our findings suggest that interventions to increase physical activity, even when concentrated within a day or two each week, may improve cardiovascular outcomes’.


- Daily