Mend Physical Therapy Blog and Injury Information

Consistent Exercise Reduces Harmful Effects Of Reduced Sleep

March 30, 2024

In our Boulder Physical Therapy and Lafayette Physical Therapy offices all of our patients are seeking care at Mend to get back to the activities they enjoy.  All of us would like to get more high quality life out the years we have left.  The research in this area can be summed up easily.  Consistently pursuing high quality exercise, sleep, and nutrition have been shown to be the most beneficial ways to reduce disease risk and improve quality and quantity of life.

The hard part of course is consistency.  Each of us face daily demands of work, family, and life which can reduce the available time for these three pursuits.  We often have to make choices on what gets cut out of our weekly hours in order to get the most important things done.  In our Boulder and Lafayette offices most of our patients reduce sleep hours despite its’ significant mental, emotional, and physical health effects.  A new study highlights consistent exercise may have a protective effect on a lack of sleep.

Liang and colleagues in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology published their findings on the association between sleep durations (2023).  Authors followed both physical activity and sleep times among a population of 90,000 participants (average age 62, 56% female).  All participants were stratified into three levels of sleep and three levels of physical activity.  Over a 7 year follow up period the study reported over 3,000 deaths of which 30% and 60% died from cardiovascular disease and cancer, respectively.  The authors found the participants with higher levels of physical activity and less optimal sleep durations decreased their risk of both all cause death and cardiovascular death.

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