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Physical activity of moderate intensity in leisure time and the risk of all cause mortality
  1. J Bucksch
  1. Correspondence to:
 Jens Bucksch
 Grazer Str 2a/ PO Box 330 440 Bremen, Germany;


Background: There are conflicting data about the health benefits of moderately intense physical activity.

Objectives: To examine the effect of such activity on all cause mortality in a German sample of men and women.

Methods: Physical activity during leisure time of 3742 men and 3445 women aged 30 to 69 was assessed in a baseline questionnaire from 1984 to 1986. The participants were observed during the follow up period until 1998 when a mortality follow up was conducted.

Results: During the follow up period, 300 women and 643 men had died. The multivariate rate ratios (RR) for the volume of lifestyle activities of moderate intensity (for example, gardening, walking, cycling) compared with sedentary lifestyle showed a clearly protective dose–response relation (p for trend <0.001) in women but not in men (p for trend 0.20). Following the recommendation for health enhancing physical activity a second analysis was conducted; 2.5 hours per week taking part in physical activity of moderate intensity decreased the relative risk of overall mortality (0.65 (95% confidence interval, 0.51 to 0.82) and 0.90 (0.77 to 1.01) for women and men, respectively).

Conclusions: The volume of lifestyle activities of moderate intensity in leisure time was inversely associated with all cause mortality in women but not in men. With regard to the health enhancing physical activity recommendation as a threshold, there were favourable findings only in women.

  • MET, metabolic equivalent
  • MLTPA-Q, Minnesota leisure time physical activity questionnaire
  • MPA, moderate physical activity
  • RR, rate ratio
  • VPA, vigorous physical activity
  • leisure time
  • all cause mortality
  • physical activity

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  • Competing interests: none declared