Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

  • Research Briefing
  • Published:

Vigorous intermittent lifestyle physical activity improves mortality risk

Vigorous intermittent lifestyle physical activity (VILPA) refers to brief bouts of strenuous movement performed as part of daily living, such as walking uphill or running for a bus. We find that as little as 3–4 minutes of VILPA per day is associated with substantially reduced mortality risk compared to no VILPA.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy this article

Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Fig. 1: VILPA reduces all-cause mortality.


  1. Rey Lopez, J. P., Gebel, K., Chia, D. & Stamatakis, E. Associations of vigorous physical activity with all-cause, cardiovascular and cancer mortality among 64 913 adults. BMJ Open Sport Exerc. Med. 5, e000596 (2019). This pooled analysis of 11 population cohorts found that questionnaire-measured long bouts (>15 continuous minutes) of vigorous intensity activity were associated with larger reductions in mortality risk than activities of moderate intensity.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Stamatakis, E. et al. Untapping the health enhancing potential of vigorous intermittent lifestyle physical activity (VILPA): rationale, scoping review, and a 4-pillar research framework. Sports Med. 51, 1–10 (2021). This paper presented a framework for future VILPA research comprising the development of: (1) an empirical definition of VILPA; (2) device-based methods to measure VILPA; (3) approaches to explore the short- and long-term dose–response effects of VILPA; and (4) scalable and acceptable behavioral VILPA-promoting interventions.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Doherty, A. et al. Large scale population assessment of physical activity using wrist worn accelerometers: The UK Biobank Study. PLoS ONE 12, e0169649 (2017). This paper presents the full methodology of the wearable-based data collection in the UK Biobank.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Additional information

Publisher’s note Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

This is a summary of: Stamatakis, E. et al. Association of wearable device-measured vigorous intermittent lifestyle physical activity with mortality. Nat. Med. (2022).

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Vigorous intermittent lifestyle physical activity improves mortality risk. Nat Med 28, 2484–2485 (2022).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing