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11 Minutes of Moderate-Intensity Exercise a Day Could Lower Risk of Disease, Study Suggests

A new study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine suggests that just 11 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a day – such as a brisk walk, hiking, or dancing – may be enough to lower the risk of diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and some cancers. The study, a meta-analysis evaluating 196 peer-reviewed articles, concluded that 75 minutes of moderate exercise a week can reduce the risk of early death by 23%.

The government recommends that one should participate in moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity (such as brisk walking) for a minimum of 150 minutes every week.[0] The present study analyzed health data for 452 people, with an average age of 78, who used an accelerometer device similar to a pedometer, worn at the hip, that measured their daily steps.[1] Research revealed that regular exercise significantly reduced the likelihood of developing a variety of health conditions, including diabetes, pneumonia, ischemic stroke, gallbladder disease, iron-deficiency anemia, urinary tract infections (UTIs), colon polyps, venous thromboembolism, and diverticular disease.[2]

According to Dr Soren Brage from the MRC Epidemiology Unit at Cambridge, those who find 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a week to be overwhelming should be encouraged by the results of their research.[3] It was discovered that increasing physical activity by 20 minutes daily had the potential to lower the rate of hospitalization by 3.8% in cases of colon polyps, and up to 23% in those with diabetes.[2]

Furthermore, the researchers also used statistical modeling to estimate that 16 percent, or 1 in 6, of all premature deaths would not happen if almost everyone exercised for 150 minutes a week, meeting the current guidelines.[4] The risk was reduced more significantly for certain types of cancer.[5] The risk of head and neck, myeloid leukaemia, myeloma, and gastric cardia cancers fell by 14 to 26 per cent.[6]

Physical activity of moderate intensity is classified as something that increases one’s heart rate and makes them breathe at a quicker pace, yet still allows them to converse.[7] Examples include brisk walking, hiking, cycling, or dancing.[8]

The lead researcher of the study emphasized the importance of staying physically active as one ages, while also noting that daily step goals should be achievable.[9]

0. “A brisk 11-minute walk could cut disease risk, says study”, 1 Mar. 2023,

1. “For older adults, every 500 additional steps taken daily associated with lower heart risk” American Heart Association, 2 Mar. 2023,

2. “Study: Extra 20 Minutes of Daily Physical Activity Helps Prevent Hospitalizations” Prevention Magazine, 26 Feb. 2023,

3. “Just 11 minutes of daily moderate intensity exercise can lower disease risk: study” The Hill, 1 Mar. 2023,

4. “Daily walk prevents one in 10 early deaths – study” BBC, 1 Mar. 2023,

5. “Just a little exercise goes a long way in staving off illness and death” The New Daily, 2 Mar. 2023,

6. “Walking just 11 minutes per day could lower risk of stroke, heart disease and some cancers significantly, study says” CBS News, 1 Mar. 2023,

7. “Walking just 11 minutes a day could stop 10% of early deaths, researchers find” The Guardian, 28 Feb. 2023,

8. “Heart disease: 500 extra steps a day may lower risk by 14%” Medical News Today, 2 Mar. 2023,

9. “Older adults who walk more ‘less likely to have stroke'”, 2 Mar. 2023,

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