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People who have high incomes are more likely to be "weekend warriors," exercising intensely just few days a week and spending most of their time in sedentary pursuits. Previous research has shown that higher income individuals are more likely to be physically active at a higher intensity. However, the research has historically relied on self- reporting, which may exaggerate actual activity levels. Income has been shown to be a prominent barrier to engaging in physical activity. Researchers from the University of Texas and Georgia State University in the US used activity monitors to collect data for the study published in the journal Preventive Medicine. Individuals with low incomes face time constraints as well as other barriers, including lack of exercise facilities, parks and open space, as well as an inflexible work environment, and have been shown to be less likely to meet physical activity guidelines. Meanwhile, higher income individuals who often also have limited time, have more resources and places to exercise, which could facilitate their ability to meet activity guidelines. However, they also are more likely to hold sedentary jobs, like office work. For the study, researchers used accelerometer data to analyse physical activity and sedentary behavior in relation to income levels among 5,206 US adults. The study found that compared to those making less than USD 20,000 per year, those with an annual income of USD 75,000 or more engaged in 4.6 more daily minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity as measured by activity monitors. High income individuals also engaged in 9.3 fewer minutes of light intensity activity, spent 11.8 more minutes daily sedentary, were 1.6 times more likely to meet guidelines for a brief 2-day period ('weekend warrior'), and were 1.9 times more likely to meet guidelines during a 7-day period. "Our findings pertaining to income and the 'weekend warrior' effect underscore the importance of tailoring the physical activity message to reflect the constraints of both low and high income individuals," said Kerem Shuval from American Cancer Society. "To meet guidelines one can engage in 150 minutes of weekly moderate intensity activity over a 2 or 3-day period rather than seven days, for example," said Shuval. "This can be achieved over a long weekend, a message we may want to convey to those pressed for time.
It is important to remember, however, that we should increase the duration and intensity of activity gradually to avoid injury," he said. "Also, if inactive consult with a physician before embarking on an exercise programme," he added.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)