A new study by Queen’s University researchers has determined that adults who
accumulated 150 minutes of exercise on a few days of the week were not any less
healthy than adults who exercised more frequently throughout the week.
Ian Janssen and his graduate student Janine Clarke studied 2 324 adults from
across Canada to determine whether the frequency of physical activity throughout
the week is associated with risk factors for diabetes, heart disease and
“The findings indicate that it does not matter how adults choose to
accumulate their 150 weekly minutes of physical activity,” says Dr Janssen. “For
instance, someone who did not perform any physical activity on Monday to Friday
but was active for 150 minutes over the weekend would obtain the same health
benefits from their activity as someone who accumulated 150 minutes of activity
over the week by doing 20-25 minutes of activity on a daily basis.”
Physical activity was measured continuously throughout the week by having
research participants wear accelerometers on their waists. Accelerometers are
tiny electrical devices (about the size of a small package of matches) that
record how much a person moves every minute.
Dr Janssen divided the adults who met the physical activity guidelines (more
than 150 minutes per week of aerobic activity) into those who were frequently
active (active five to seven days of the week) and infrequently active (active
one to four days of the week).
“The important message is that adults should aim to accumulate at least 150
minutes of weekly physical activity in whatever pattern that works for their
The paper was published today in Applied
Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism