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      How does light-intensity physical activity associate with adult cardiometabolic health and mortality? Systematic review with meta-analysis of experimental and observational studies

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          To assess the relationship between time spent in light physical activity and cardiometabolic health and mortality in adults.


          Systematic review and meta-analysis.

          Data sources

          Searches in Medline, Embase, PsycInfo, CINAHL and three rounds of hand searches.

          Eligibility criteria for selecting studies

          Experimental (including acute mechanistic studies and physical activity intervention programme) and observational studies (excluding case and case–control studies) conducted in adults (aged ≥18 years) published in English before February 2018 and reporting on the relationship between light physical activity (<3 metabolic equivalents) and cardiometabolic health outcomes or all-cause mortality.

          Study appraisal and synthesis

          Study quality appraisal with QUALSYST tool and random effects inverse variance meta-analysis.


          Seventy-two studies were eligible including 27 experimental studies (and 45 observational studies). Mechanistic experimental studies showed that short but frequent bouts of light-intensity activity throughout the day reduced postprandial glucose (−17.5%; 95% CI −26.2 to −8.7) and insulin (−25.1%; 95% CI −31.8 to –18.3) levels compared with continuous sitting, but there was very limited evidence for it affecting other cardiometabolic markers. Three light physical activity programme intervention studies (n ranging from 12 to 58) reduced adiposity, improved blood pressure and lipidaemia; the programmes consisted of activity of >150 min/week for at least 12 weeks. Six out of eight prospective observational studies that were entered in the meta-analysis reported that more time spent in daily light activity reduced risk of all-cause mortality (pooled HR 0.71; 95% CI 0.62 to 0.83).


          Light-intensity physical activity could play a role in improving adult cardiometabolic health and reducing mortality risk. Frequent short bouts of light activity improve glycaemic control. Nevertheless, the modest volume of the prospective epidemiological evidence base and the moderate consistency between observational and laboratory evidence inhibits definitive conclusions.

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          Most cited references 54

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          Meta-analysis of observational studies in epidemiology: a proposal for reporting. Meta-analysis Of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (MOOSE) group.

           T Sipe,  D Rennie,  D Stroup (2000)
          Because of the pressure for timely, informed decisions in public health and clinical practice and the explosion of information in the scientific literature, research results must be synthesized. Meta-analyses are increasingly used to address this problem, and they often evaluate observational studies. A workshop was held in Atlanta, Ga, in April 1997, to examine the reporting of meta-analyses of observational studies and to make recommendations to aid authors, reviewers, editors, and readers. Twenty-seven participants were selected by a steering committee, based on expertise in clinical practice, trials, statistics, epidemiology, social sciences, and biomedical editing. Deliberations of the workshop were open to other interested scientists. Funding for this activity was provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We conducted a systematic review of the published literature on the conduct and reporting of meta-analyses in observational studies using MEDLINE, Educational Research Information Center (ERIC), PsycLIT, and the Current Index to Statistics. We also examined reference lists of the 32 studies retrieved and contacted experts in the field. Participants were assigned to small-group discussions on the subjects of bias, searching and abstracting, heterogeneity, study categorization, and statistical methods. From the material presented at the workshop, the authors developed a checklist summarizing recommendations for reporting meta-analyses of observational studies. The checklist and supporting evidence were circulated to all conference attendees and additional experts. All suggestions for revisions were addressed. The proposed checklist contains specifications for reporting of meta-analyses of observational studies in epidemiology, including background, search strategy, methods, results, discussion, and conclusion. Use of the checklist should improve the usefulness of meta-analyses for authors, reviewers, editors, readers, and decision makers. An evaluation plan is suggested and research areas are explored.
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            Physical activity and public health: updated recommendation for adults from the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association.

            In 1995 the American College of Sports Medicine and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published national guidelines on Physical Activity and Public Health. The Committee on Exercise and Cardiac Rehabilitation of the American Heart Association endorsed and supported these recommendations. The purpose of the present report is to update and clarify the 1995 recommendations on the types and amounts of physical activity needed by healthy adults to improve and maintain health. Development of this document was by an expert panel of scientists, including physicians, epidemiologists, exercise scientists, and public health specialists. This panel reviewed advances in pertinent physiologic, epidemiologic, and clinical scientific data, including primary research articles and reviews published since the original recommendation was issued in 1995. Issues considered by the panel included new scientific evidence relating physical activity to health, physical activity recommendations by various organizations in the interim, and communications issues. Key points related to updating the physical activity recommendation were outlined and writing groups were formed. A draft manuscript was prepared and circulated for review to the expert panel as well as to outside experts. Comments were integrated into the final recommendation. To promote and maintain health, all healthy adults aged 18 to 65 yr need moderate-intensity aerobic (endurance) physical activity for a minimum of 30 min on five days each week or vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity for a minimum of 20 min on three days each week. [I (A)] Combinations of moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity can be performed to meet this recommendation. [IIa (B)] For example, a person can meet the recommendation by walking briskly for 30 min twice during the week and then jogging for 20 min on two other days. Moderate-intensity aerobic activity, which is generally equivalent to a brisk walk and noticeably accelerates the heart rate, can be accumulated toward the 30-min minimum by performing bouts each lasting 10 or more minutes. [I (B)] Vigorous-intensity activity is exemplified by jogging, and causes rapid breathing and a substantial increase in heart rate. In addition, every adult should perform activities that maintain or increase muscular strength and endurance a minimum of two days each week. [IIa (A)] Because of the dose-response relation between physical activity and health, persons who wish to further improve their personal fitness, reduce their risk for chronic diseases and disabilities or prevent unhealthy weight gain may benefit by exceeding the minimum recommended amounts of physical activity. [I (A)].
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              The PRISMA extension statement for reporting of systematic reviews incorporating network meta-analyses of health care interventions: checklist and explanations.

              The PRISMA statement is a reporting guideline designed to improve the completeness of reporting of systematic reviews and meta-analyses. Authors have used this guideline worldwide to prepare their reviews for publication. In the past, these reports typically compared 2 treatment alternatives. With the evolution of systematic reviews that compare multiple treatments, some of them only indirectly, authors face novel challenges for conducting and reporting their reviews. This extension of the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses) statement was developed specifically to improve the reporting of systematic reviews incorporating network meta-analyses. A group of experts participated in a systematic review, Delphi survey, and face-to-face discussion and consensus meeting to establish new checklist items for this extension statement. Current PRISMA items were also clarified. A modified, 32-item PRISMA extension checklist was developed to address what the group considered to be immediately relevant to the reporting of network meta-analyses. This document presents the extension and provides examples of good reporting, as well as elaborations regarding the rationale for new checklist items and the modification of previously existing items from the PRISMA statement. It also highlights educational information related to key considerations in the practice of network meta-analysis. The target audience includes authors and readers of network meta-analyses, as well as journal editors and peer reviewers.

                Author and article information

                Br J Sports Med
                Br J Sports Med
                British Journal of Sports Medicine
                BMJ Publishing Group (BMA House, Tavistock Square, London, WC1H 9JR )
                March 2019
                25 April 2018
                : 53
                : 6
                : 370-376
                [1 ] departmentSchool of Health and Life Science, Institute for Applied Health Research , Glasgow Caledonian University , Glasgow, UK
                [2 ] departmentDepartment of Movement and Sport Sciences , Ghent University , Ghent, Belgium
                [3 ] Research Foundation Flanders , Brussels, Belgium
                [4 ] departmentInstitute for Resilient Regions , University of Southern Queensland , Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia
                [5 ] departmentEpidemiology Unit, Charles Perkins Centre , University of Sydney , Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
                [6 ] departmentPrevention Research Collaboration, School of Public Health , University of Sydney , Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
                [7 ] departmentDepartment of Public Health , Ghent University , Ghent, Belgium
                [8 ] departmentSchool of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences , Loughborough University , Loughborough, UK
                Author notes
                [Correspondence to ] Dr Sebastien F M Chastin, School of Health and Life Sciences, Institute for Applied Health Research, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow G4 0BA, UK; Sebastien.Chastin@
                © Article author(s) (or their employer(s) unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2019. All rights reserved. No commercial use is permitted unless otherwise expressly granted.

                This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:

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                Sports medicine

                cardiovascular, physical activity, public health, risk factor, sedentary


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