A new study claims that men who workout moderately may face reduced risk of heart failure. Researchers assigned each type of physical activity an intensity score and determined walking or bicycling just 20 minutes per day was associated with a 21 percent lower risk of heart failure and accounted for the largest difference in heart failure free survival.
Of the men diagnosed with heart failure during the course of study, those who had engaged in at least 20 minutes per day in walking or bicycling were approximately eight months older compared to heart failure cases who had engaged in less than 20 minutes per day of walking or bicycling.
Upon analyzing the different types of activities, certain types of physical activity were associated with reduced risk of heart failure such as walking and bicycling or exercising more than one hour per week.
Meanwhile occupation, household work and physical inactivity were not significantly associated with heart failure development. Researchers also found that men who were active at 30 years old but were inactive at the time of study enrollment did not have a decreased risk of heart failure.
Andrea Bellavia of the Karolinska Institute said that because participants in the study cohort had also provided information about their physical activity at age 30, as well as at the time of enrollment around age 60, they were able to examine the long-term impacts of physical activity on heart failure.
The authors of the study cautioned that the link between physical activity and heart disease was not fully understood, as heavy physical activity, such as long distance running, or manual labor may put stress on the body, which in turn has adverse effects on the heart.
The study is published in the journal JACC: Heart Failure.