Strength training reduces risk of death from all causes, study shows

According to a new global analysis of studies over three decades. .

Health guidelines recommend muscle-strengthening activities primarily for the health benefits of the musculoskeletal system. Previous research has suggested a link to a lower risk of death, but until now experts didn’t know what the optimal “dose” would be.

In an attempt to find out, researchers from Japan A database search of relevant studies that included adults without significant health problems who had been followed for at least two years. The final analysis looked at 16 studies, the first of which was published in 2012. Most of them were carried out in the United States, the rest in England, Scotland, Australia and Japan. maximum observation was 25 years.

The analysis found that 30-60 minutes of muscle-strengthening activity per week was associated with a 10-20% lower risk of death from all causes, heart disease and cancer. The results were published in British Journal of Sports Medicine.

The results were independent of aerobic exercise. But the analysis indicated a J-curve for most outcomes, with no conclusive evidence that more than an hour a week of muscle building further reduces risk.

UK physical activity guidelines state that muscle-strengthening activities can include carrying heavy shopping bags, yoga, Pilates, tai chi, weight lifting, working with resistance bands, performing exercises that use your body weight, such as push-ups and sit-ups. , and strenuous exercise. gardening. Like digging and digging, driving a wheelchair or lifting and carrying children.

Adults are recommended to engage in strengthening activities that work all major muscle groups at least two days a week, in addition to at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity each week. Researchers have found that people get more benefit when they do both on a regular basis.

The review included studies with participant numbers ranging from 4,000 to 480,000 and ages ranging from 18 to 97 years. The analysis showed that building muscle was associated with a 10% to 17% lower risk of death from any cause, heart disease, cancer and diabetes. .

The researchers said a maximum risk of between 10% and 20% was found in 30 to 60 minutes per week of muscle-strengthening activities for death from any cause, heart disease and cancer. An L-shaped association was observed for diabetes, with a significant reduction in risk up to 60 min/week of muscle-strengthening activities, after which there was a gradual reduction.

A combined analysis of muscle strengthening and aerobic activities showed that the risk of death from all causes, heart disease and cancer was higher when these two types of activities were combined: 40%, 46% and 28%, respectively.

The researchers acknowledged that there were limitations to their findings, the main one being that data from only a few studies were pooled for each of the outcomes studied. They concluded: “As the available data are limited, more studies – such as studies in a more diverse population – are needed to increase the certainty of the evidence.”

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