The benefits of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity are similar whether they are spread throughout the week or concentrated on a weekend, according to a study published online July 5 in JAMA Internal Medicine.
Mauricio dos Santos, from Universidade Federal de São Paulo in Brazil, and colleagues used data from 350,978 U.S. adults who self-reported physical activity as part of the U.S. National Health Interview Survey (1997 to 2013) to examine patterns of leisure-time physical activity and mortality.
The researchers found that compared with physically inactive participants, the risk for all-cause mortality was similar for weekend warriors and for regularly active participants. Similar findings were seen for cause-specific mortality. When comparing weekend warriors to regularly active participants, risks were also similar for all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease mortality, and cancer mortality.
“These findings suggest that whether the recommended amount of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity is spread out during the week or concentrated into fewer days, there may be no significant difference in health benefits,” the authors write. “These findings could be useful for clinical or individual counseling and for public health policies and interventions.”