Just an hour muscle strength training a week cuts risk of death

Author(s): Jess Thay, Source: BMJ , Date: 03 March 2022

Research published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, found that 30-60 minutes of weekly muscle strengthening activity linked to 10-20% lower death risk.

The analysis of pooled data, found that muscle strengthening exercise – such as weight lifting – for up to an hour a week, lowered the risk of death from all causes. But, also particularly lowered risk of developing cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer.

While weight lifting is main form of muscle strengthening exercise, other forms include working with resistance bands; push-ups, sit-ups, and squats; but also, activities in hobbies such as heavy gardening, such as digging and shovelling.

However, researchers warned that strength training for more than an hour a week does not have any added benefits and risks injury.  

The data was collected from over 16 studies over the last decade. Data was included from participants in the USA, England, Scotland, Australia, and Japan, making the finding truly representative.

Many studies included men and women, but a handful were men only or women only.

The researchers said it was worth noting that all the studies considered for their research, listed aerobic or other types of physical activity as well as muscle strengthening activities.

Most of the studies including in the data pool were combined forms of exercise. Joint analysis by the team of muscle strengthening and aerobic activities showed that the reduction in risk of death from any cause, cardiovascular disease, and cancer was even greater when these two types of activities were combined: 40%, 46%, and 28% lower, respectively. 


Momma H, Kawakami R, Honda T, et al

Muscle-strengthening activities are associated with lower risk and mortality in major non-communicable diseases: a systematic review and meta-analysis of cohort studies

British Journal of Sports Medicine Published Online First: 28 February 2022. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2021-105061