Participation In Specific Leisure-Time Activities and Mortality Risk Among U.S. Adults

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Health Professions


© 2020 Elsevier Inc.

Purpose: This prospective cohort study examined the association between specific leisure-time activity and mortality risk.

Methods: Data are from 1999 to 2006 U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys and included adults followed through December 31, 2015 (n = 17,938, representing 191,463,892 U.S. adults). Participants reported specific leisure-time activities performed at moderate-to-vigorous intensity. Walking, bicycling, running, dance, golf, stretching, and weightlifting were examined. Cox proportional hazards models (adjusted hazard ratios [aHRs]; 95% confidence intervals [CIs]) assessed the association of individual activities with the risk of all-cause mortality, CVD mortality, and cancer mortality.

Results: Over a median follow-up of 11.9 years, 3799 deaths occurred. Any leisure-time walking ([aHR], 0.73; 95% CI, 0.66–0.82), bicycling (aHR, 0.73, 95% CI, 0.59–0.91), and running (aHR, 0.70; 95% CI, 0.59–0.84) were associated with lower all-cause mortality compared with no participation in the specific activity. Dance, golf, stretching, and weightlifting were not associated with mortality. Comparable results were observed when activities were categorized as none, less than 60 min/wk, or 60 minutes or more/wk. Walking and running were similarly associated with the risk of CVD mortality.

Conclusions: Participating in moderate-to-vigorous walking, bicycling, or running may be particularly beneficial for health and longevity.

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Annals of Epidemiology



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