How Additional Physical Activity Helps Weight Loss

How Additional Physical Activity Helps Weight Loss

A recent study shows that every additional minute you exercise, it helps tremendously. If you have been trying to lose weight and are struggling with the exercise portion, this is actually good news for you. Even if you do not exercise for an hour or so every single day, it doesn’t mean you won’t lose weight. This recent study, conducted by the American Journal of Health Promotion, shows that for every extra minute of physical activity you get throughout the day, you are further improving your weight loss. So if you only got in a 20-minute walk today, don’t beat yourself up over it; it is still great progress.

The Study

The American Journal of Health Promotion formed the National Health and Nutrition Examination Study. The Study included 2,309 men and 2,202 women, all of whom were in the obese category according to their body mass index (BMI). Each participant was monitored daily with an accelerometer tracked their physical activity throughout the day, whether they were walking into a store from their car, or walking up a flight of stairs. The data was separated by the type of exercises performed and the length of time for each. They were categorized according to their physical activity, whether it was more or less than 10 minutes, and if it was high or low intensity. Generally speaking, someone walking from their car to their office building or a retails tore, is walking briskly, thus creating a high intensity workout for a couple minutes.


After the survey was complete, the results showed for every minute of physical activity, it benefited the participant’s weight, BMI and overall health. For women, there was a .07 decrease in their BMI on average, and a similar amount for the men in the study. The study also showed that the intensity of physical activity means slightly more for preventing weight gain, than how long an activity lasts. Shorter bursts of intense activities are better overall. Rather than walking casually for an hour, walking very briskly for 15 minutes is actually better for you. The study also showed that for each additional minute of high intensity activity, there was a 2-5 decrease in the risk of obesity.

What this study proves is that every little bit counts. Many individuals worry that they won’t lose weight or show any health benefits unless they workout for 30-90 minutes a day, but it is simply not the case. While you should still try to get regular fitness as part of a healthy lifestyle, every extra minute of physical activity you get, is going to be a significant benefit.

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