One Minute Of Exercise Can Really Reduce Your Odds Of Getting Fat [Study]

Elaine Radford - Author

Sep. 2 2013, Updated 9:21 a.m. ET

Even one minute of exercise could substantially reduce your risk of obesity. That’s the new findings from a University of Utah research team that just published their results Sunday in the American Journal of Health Promotion.

In a statement from the university, researcher Jessie X. Fan explained: “What we learned is that for preventing weight gain, the intensity of the activity matters more than duration.”

And the results were noticeable. According to the team, each minute of higher-intensity exercise lowered a woman’s odds of obesity by five percent. Each minute of the exercise lowered a man’s odds by two percent.

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Why is the finding important? For one thing, it may inspire Americans who have been discouraged from exercising because they think it will take too long to get results. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans say that adults should get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity such as walking.

Nobody who doesn’t work in show business or athletics or some other job that involves a trainer has time for that. In May, the CDC released a statement warning that only 20 percent of American adults were meeting the target.

And you and I can figure out why, even if the CDC is baffled. It’s just too big of a chunk out of a life, assuming you also want to work full-time, socialize with friends and family, and do something more deeply meaningful than obsess about your body.

But anybody can find time for one minute of exercise.

“[T]aking the stairs, parking at the far end of the lot, and walking to the store or between errands are choices that can add up and can make a positive health difference,” the Utah researchers noted.

The study was performed on adults from age 18 to 64 who were capable of normal activity. The subjects included over 2,200 women and 2,300 men.

Knowing that even one minute of exercise can help may encourage all of us to move around just that little bit more.

[going upstairs photo by CSLD via Shutterstock]


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