New exercise goal reduces hospitalizations by up to 23%: Study

A large, seven-year study found 20 minutes of daily exercise reduced hospitalizations from 4 percent to 23 percent for different conditions, U.S. News and World Report reported Feb. 20.

The study, published in Feb. 16 in JAMA Network Open and conducted by researchers from the National Cancer Institute and the University of Oxford in England, tracked the activity level of nearly 82,000 British adults ages 42 to 78. After seven years, more than 48,000 participants ended up in the hospital for various reasons. 

Participants who exercised more had lower risk of hospitalization related to gallbladder disease, urinary tract infections, blood clots, stroke, diabetes complications, pneumonia, iron-deficiency anemia, colon polyps and diverticular disease. Only 20 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous cardio exercise reduced hospitalization for all nine conditions, ranging from 4 percent lower risk for colon polyps to 23 percent lower risk of diabetes.

The findings do not prove that physical activity, per se, was responsible, lead researcher Dr. Eleanor Watts, of the National Cancer Institute, said. Other factors such as age, health and higher incomes contributed to the results, according to the study.

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