This article explores the potential benefits of short periods of relatively high intensity physical activity in day to day life. These include walking flights of stairs, walking uphill, carrying moderate loads, cycling, playing with children etc.

As discussed in previous MD Health blog posts, High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) has substantial benefits to physical and mental health. This article argues that the same principles can apply to our day to day activity, by incorporating short bursts of relative high intensity, utilising methods such as the above.

The figure attached illustrates where these short bursts can have an effect (anything above the 6MET line has the potentially positive impacts on health). These types of activities should

Although more research is needed on this area, the Physical Activity guidelines in the USA have started to incorporate this type of incidental exercise into their guidelines. As well as the motto “sit less and move more” we should start to utilise “huff and puff regularly” as another guideline to live by.

Short and sporadic bouts in the 2018 US physical activity guidelines: is high-intensity incidental physical activity the new HIIT?

The 2018 US Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans1 introduced a number of new elements that will undoubtedly change how we think about and promote physical activity (PA). Not to anyone’s surprise, the new guidelines abandoned the unsupported by empirical evidence idea that PA needs to be accumulated in at least 10 min continuous bouts to be health enhancing.

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