Objectives: We examined the association of intensity and type of physical activity with mortality.
Methods: We assessed the duration of physical activity by intensity level and type in 7456 men and women from the Whitehall II Study by questionnaire in 1997-1999 (mean ±SD age = 55.9 ± 6.0 years) and 5 years later. All-cause mortality was assessed until April 2009.
Results: A total of 317 participants died during the mean follow-up of 9.6 years (SD = 2.7). Reporting at least 1 hour per week of moderate activity was associated with a 33% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 14%, 45%) lower risk of mortality compared with less than 1 hour. For all physical activity types examined, except housework, a duration of physical activity greater than 0 (≥ 3.5 hours for walking) was associated with lower mortality in age-adjusted analyses, but only the associations with sports (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.71; 95% CI = 0.56, 0.91) and do-it-yourself activity (HR = 0.68; 95% CI = 0.53, 0.98) remained in fully adjusted analyses.
Conclusions: It is important to consider both intensity and type of physical activity when examining associations with mortality.