We are all familiar with studies that investigate the associations between physical activity and outcomes such as death or cardiovascular disease. However, we rarely focus on the length of time over which these study participants are followed up to see if one of the outcomes occurs.
Over an average week, adults in the United
Kingdom living with chronic disease spend 61 minutes (9%) less on moderate
activity — such as gardening, brisk walking and housework — and 3 minutes (11%)
less on vigorous activity — such as running and aerobics — than their healthy peers.
Perhaps this comes as a surprise. After all, few of us would question the health benefits of keeping moving and getting our heart rate racing. Physical activity guidelines, such as those developed by the UK’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, specifically refer to the importance of increasing physical activity for chronic disease management.
So why have we observed a gap in activity
levels between those living with chronic disease and those without?