By: William Haskell, Ph.D., FACSM
It is well established that the least active men and women are at greatest risk to die or become disabled younger due to heart disease and other major chronic diseases. For these individuals even small amounts of activity performed on most days decreases risk of heart attack, stroke, type 2 diabetes and colon cancer.
Members of the 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee reviewed data from numerous studies conducted around the world and concluded that bouts of any length contribute to health benefits associated with accumulated volume of physical activity. Thus, a major change in the aerobic activity recommendation for the updated Physical Activity Guidelines was to remove the 10-minute bout duration requirement, which had been in place since 1995.
Detailed information can be found in "Physical Activity, All-Cause and Cardiovascular Mortality, and Cardiovascular Disease," one of ACSM’s 14 new pronouncements that present the science behind the updated Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. Authored primarily by ACSM subject matter experts, each pronouncement addresses a specific topic, sharing the scientific evidence and identifying key knowledge gaps for future research. Health care and fitness professionals as well as basic and applied scientists can use the pronouncements to plan future research projects, cite current evidence for papers and grants and/or inform the development and delivery of effective interventions.
Read more about the evidence behind changes to the guidelines regarding physical activity bouts.