To Your Health
March, 2023 (Vol. 17, Issue 03)
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Save Big on Hospital Bills

By Editorial Staff

And that's not the only benefit of committing to working more physical activity into your daily schedule, according to a recent study that evaluated hospitalization rates for the top 25 different non-cancer conditions requiring hospitalization.

Not getting hospital bills also means you're healthy enough to avoid hospitalization, which is the big benefit. Let's see why exercise is your #1 way to save money and live healthier.

Researchers used one-week accelerometer data from more than 80,000 adults ages 42-78 to gauge how physical activity correlated with risk of first hospitalization for any of  the 25 conditions during nearly seven years of follow-up. (Accelerometers measure the frequency, duration and intensity of physical activity, like most smartwatches these days.) Higher activity reduced the risk of nine conditions: gallbladder disease, urinary tract infections, diabetes, venous thromboembolism (blood clots), pneumonia, ischemic stroke, iron deficiency anemia, diverticular disease (a disorder of the large intestine), and colon polyps.

hospital - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark So, how much physical activity can make a difference? It doesn't take much. According to the study authors, "Substituting 20 minutes per day of sedentary time with 20 minutes per day of MVPA [moderate to vigorous physical activity] was associated with significant reductions in risk across a broad range of conditions, and we estimated that increasing MVPA time would yield 3.8% to 23.0% lower hospitalizations for some conditions."

You can find an extra 20 minutes a day to increase your chances of avoiding a potentially big hospital bill, right? (Not to mention the health issues responsible for needing to be hospitalized.) Keep in mind that moderate to vigorous physical activity doesn't mean you need to spend all day at the gym (or at the gym at all): Activities such as brisk walking, dancing and gardening (moderate) and playing singles tennis, fast cycling or jogging (vigorous) all qualify. For more examples of MVPA, click here.