August 23, 2016 – Best Amount

August 19, 2016

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Anchor lead:  Do we really know how much physical activity is best? Elizabeth Tracey reports

All of your physical activity during the day counts when you calculate METs, or metabolic equivalent tasks, simply defined as a comparison to how much energy is burned at rest. A new study says striving for 3-4000 METs per week will reduce our risk for common cancers, heart disease, stroke and diabetes.  Redonda Miller, president of Johns Hopkins Hospital, comments.

Miller: What they found is probably not surprising to many of us.  There was a dose-response. But in general you could expect a 25% reduction, roughly, in each of the five conditions, when you hit a good level of activity. And then it plateaued.  You hit a level of around 3000 to 4000 METS per week, where the added benefit of additional exercise was really very minimal, but up until that point, the more the better.   :29

Miller notes that the WHO has previously recommended only 600 METs per week, so this is a substantial uptick in activity for most.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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