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ISEH Professor Mark Hamer, Chair in Sport and exercise medicine, was part of dedicated team of researchers who looked at the association of vigorous intermittent physical activity (very short bouts of 1–2 minute high intensity activity) with all cause Cardiovascular disease & cancer mortality in people who do not exercise. 

The authors found that just 3–4-minute bouts of short vigorous intermittent lifestyle physical activity (which the researchers have called VILPA), is associated with 40% reduction in all cause cancer related mortality & up to 49% reduction in death related cardiovascular disease. Types of VILPA could include daily activities such as: running for the bus, carrying shopping, power walking, running errands or playing games with children and pets.

The researchers were able to successfully measure the health benefits of VILPA by using wrist worn tracker data from a large biomedical database of over 25,000 people who do not take do part in sports or physical exercise. The authors were able to conclude that any activity that look place was done as part of everyday living. The team looked at health data of individuals and followed participants to review findings over a seven-year period.

This is the first study of its kind to gain these important insights about the positive health benefits of non-structured physical activity.

Professor Mark Hamer said. “This work looks at ‘incidental’ movement during everyday living as opposed to structured sport and exercises that our field typically focuses on in relation to health benefits.”

Read the published paper in Nature Medicine.

To find out more about the study, Professor Mark Hamer discusses the research in further detail and its important findings in The Conversation.

The authors of this study were, Emmanuel Stamatakis: The University of Sydney, The University of Sydney, Matthew N. Ahmadi: The University of Sydney, Jason M. R. Gill: University of Glasgow, Cecilie Thøgersen-Ntoumani: University of Southern Denmark, Martin J. Gibala: McMaster University, Aiden Doherty: University of Oxford, Prof: Mark Hamer: University College London.