The study of 63,591 adults between 1994 and 2012 suggests that weekend warriors who performed the recommended amount of 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous activity in one or two sessions per week had lower risks for death from all causes, cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cancer.
The risk of death from all causes was about 30 per cent lower among weekend warrior adults compared with inactive adults, while the risk of CVD death for weekend warriors was 40 percent lower and the risk of cancer death was 18 percent lower.
Reductions among those who regularly exercise compared with the inactive group were 35 per cent for all-cause mortality, 41 per cent for CVD death, and 21 per cent for cancer death.
Although weekend warriors spent on average 300 minutes per week in moderate or vigorous activity compared with 450 minutes per week for those who reported participating in regular activity, the weekend warriors spent a greater proportion of their workout time exercising at a ‘vigorous’ level.
Dr Gary O’Donovan of Loughborough University’s School of Sport Exercise and Health Sciences and the National centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine East Midlands, said:
“The weekend warrior and other physical activity patterns characterised by one or two sessions per week of moderate or vigorous-intensity physical activity may be sufficient to reduce risks for all-cause, CVD and cancer mortality regardless of adherence to prevailing physical activity guidelines.”