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20 Minutes of Exercise Can Cut Risk of Hospitalization

Regular exercise is one of the best things that you can do for your health, but often it’s assumed that it requires hours of time to reap its benefits. However, according to a recent study published in JAMA Network Open, just 20 extra minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) per day can reduce the risk of hospitalization for nine common conditions.

The study focused on nearly 82,000 participants between the ages of 42 and 78 who spent a week wearing wrist monitors that recorded their physical activity.[0] The findings showed that those with higher physical activity levels had lower risks of hospitalization for nine conditions, including diabetes, gallbladder disease, blood clots, urinary tract infections and more.[1]

Lead researcher Eleanor Watts of the U.S. National Cancer Institute in Rockville, Md., noted that exercise has plenty of benefits that could help prevent those hospitalizations. Exercise can boost immune function, improve insulin sensitivity, and benefit heart and lung health, as well as reduce body fat, high blood pressure and cholesterol.[0] Additionally, physical activity can help people sleep better and manage their stress levels.[2]

The researchers estimated that increasing MVPA by 20 minutes daily could reduce hospitalization rates. The team thought that the results of the research could be a useful alternative to medication for reducing the demand on healthcare services and improving people’s quality of life.[2]

Dr. Chip Lavie, medical director of cardiac rehabilitation and prevention at John Ochsner Heart and Vascular Institute in New Orleans, stated that “It could also help keep you out of the hospital. And that matters to people.”[0]

It was found that middle-aged and older individuals who incorporated a mere 20 minutes of physical activity into their daily regimen could potentially reduce their odds of requiring hospitalization by anywhere from 4-23% over the course of 7 years.

0. “Over 40? Just 20 Minutes of Daily Exercise Can Keep You Out of the Hospital” Hiawatha World, 20 Feb. 2023,

1. “Extra 20 minutes of exercise a day Reduces Risk of Hospitalization, Study Finds” TODAY, 16 Feb. 2023,

2. “Is physical activity associated with the risks of hospitalization for common health conditions?” News-Medical.Net, 20 Feb. 2023,

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