Details of Publication 641 for Project A409:

Pavey T, Peeters G, Bauman A & Brown W. Does vigorous physical activity provide additional benefits beyond those of moderate? Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 2013; 45(10): 1948-1955

Background: Although guidelines suggest that vigorous physical activity (PA) confers 'extra' benefits compared with those from moderate intensity activity alone, the magnitude of this additional benefit is unclear. The aim was to compare the reduction in risk of hypertension (HT) and depressive symptoms (DS) over 12-years in mid-age women who reported (a) only moderate intensity (MOPA) PA and (b) a combination of moderate and vigorous PA (MVPA), after controlling for overall volume of activity.Methods: The study involved 11285 participants in the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health, who completed surveys in 1998 (age 46-52), 2001, 2004, 2007 and 2010. Generalised estimating equation models (with 3-year time lag) were used to examine the relationship between PA in 7 categories from 0 to >2000 MET.min/week, and occurrence of HT and DS, for women who reported MOPA or MVPA.Results: For HT, risk was slightly lower for MVPA than for MOPA across the entire range of PA levels, but this difference was only significant at the highest PA level (>2000; OR=0.80 MOPA and 0.56 MVPA). For DS, ORs were similar in both groups up to 500 MET.min/week, then slightly lower for MVPA than for MOPA at higher PA levels. Again, this difference was only significant at the highest PA level (>2000; OR=0.57 MOPA and 0.42 MVPA). ORs were slightly attenuated in adjusted models.Conclusion: Doing both vigorous and moderate activity does not have significant additional benefits in terms of HT and DS, above those from moderate intensity activity alone, except at very high levels of PA.

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