Weekend Warrior Exercising Still Benefits the Health of Consumers

Research shows that people who exercise only on the weekend still have a lower risk of death

Weekend Warrior Exercising Still Benefits the Health of Consumers
Image: NCCC
January 13, 2017

In a world where more and more parts of our lives are being converted into tasks waiting to be checked off our to-do lists, working out or exercising often seems just too inconvenient. But take heart: a new study has found that exercising for even a few hours each week—even only on the weekend—can be greatly beneficial to our health.

University of Sydney researchers analyzed data from a survey of more than 63,000 people and found that the rate of deaths from all causes was 30 percent lower for adults who are physically active than for those who are not. They also say that so-called "weekend warriors"—people who exercise only on the weekend—experienced the same amount of reduction in their risk for cancer, cardiovascular disease, and obesity.

"It is very encouraging news that being physically active on just one or two occasions per week is associated with a lower risk of death, even among people who do some activity but don't quite meet recommended exercise levels," said Emmanuel Stamatakis, senior author of the study.

Guidelines set by the World Health Organization recommend that adults take part in either 150 minutes' worth of exercise at a moderate level of intensity or 75 minutes' worth at a vigorous level each week. The new study, however, found that the people taking part did not always have to meet those goals in order to reduce the risks to their health.

Although these findings are good news for people who do not exercise often, Stamatakis and his colleagues caution that more research will be necessary to "determine how frequency, intensity, and duration of activity might best be combined to achieve health benefits."

The researchers do say that people should always exercise even more than the recommended amounts if they can. They believe that this is the best way we can protect ourselves from many diseases and health conditions.