Research Shows Static Physical Activity More Beneficial Than Dynamic

While all physical activity is beneficial, static activities such as strength training may be more strongly associated with reducing cardiovascular disease risks than dynamic activities like walking and biking, according to research presented Nov. 16 at the ACC Latin America Conference 2018 in Lima, Peru.

Researchers analyzed cardiovascular risk factors, such as high blood pressure, overweight, diabetes and high cholesterol, as a function of self-reported static and/or dynamic activity in 4,086 American adults using data from the 2005-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The researchers adjusted for age, ethnicity, gender and smoking and stratified by age: 21 to 44 years old or over 45 years old.

In total, 36 percent of younger and 25 percent of older adults engaged in static activity, and 28 percent of younger and 21 percent of older adults engaged in dynamic activity. Researchers found engaging in either type of activity was associated with 30 to 70 percent lower rates of cardiovascular disease risk factors, but associations were strongest for static activity and in youth.

“Both strength training and aerobic activity appeared to be heart healthy, even in small amounts, at the population level,” said Maia P. Smith, PhD, MS, statistical epidemiologist and assistant professor in the Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at St. George’s University in St. George’s, Grenada. “Clinicians should counsel patients to exercise regardless – both activity types were beneficial. However, static activity appeared more beneficial than dynamic, and patients who did both types of physical activity fared better than patients who simply increased the level of one type of activity.”

Results also showed that both static and dynamic activity were almost as popular in older people as younger. “The important thing is to make sure they are engaging in physical activity,” she adds.

Smith said that moving forward, future research and data collection should use definitions of physical activity that separate static from dynamic activity to further investigate independent effects.

Keywords: Resistance Training, Nutrition Surveys, Latin America, Cardiovascular Diseases, Exercise, Risk Factors, Overweight, Diabetes Mellitus, Hypertension, Smoking, Cholesterol

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