The emergence of wearable fitness devices has revolutionised the way we monitor and assess physical activity. These devices have not only made it easier for individuals to track their daily steps and workouts but have also uncovered unexplored movement patterns that could be crucial for our health. A groundbreaking study published in Nature Medicine in 2022 by Emmanuel Stamatakis and his team delved into the realm of Vigorous Intermittent Lifestyle Physical Activity (VILPA) and its association with mortality. The findings of this study provide us with valuable insights into the potential life-saving benefits of incorporating VILPA into daily routines.

Understanding VILPA

VILPA represents brief bursts of vigorous physical activity embedded into everyday life, rather than being part of structured leisure-time exercise. This concept is significant as it highlights that even small bouts of intense physical activity, performed sporadically throughout the day, can have a profound impact on health. The study in question examined the association of VILPA with all-cause, cardiovascular disease (CVD), and cancer mortality in a sample of 25,241 non-exercisers in the UK Biobank.

Key Findings

Over an average follow-up period of 6.9 years, the researchers observed a striking inverse association between VILPA and mortality. The results showed that:

  1. All-Cause Mortality: Participants who engaged in VILPA at the sample median frequency of 3 length-standardised bouts per day (each lasting 1 or 2 minutes) experienced a remarkable 38% to 40% reduction in the risk of all-cause mortality compared to those who did not engage in VILPA.
  2. Cancer Mortality: Similar to all-cause mortality, individuals who incorporated VILPA into their daily routines at the same median frequency saw a significant 38% to 40% reduction in cancer mortality risk.
  3. Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) Mortality: VILPA was also associated with a substantial reduction in CVD mortality risk. Participants who engaged in VILPA at the sample median frequency enjoyed a 48% to 49% decrease in the risk of CVD mortality.

Become a Personal Trainer & Learn How to Deliver T3 High Intensity Interval Training Workouts

Moreover, the study revealed that even a modest duration of VILPA, with a median of 4.4 minutes per day, was linked to a 26% to 30% reduction in all-cause and cancer mortality risk and a 32% to 34% reduction in CVD mortality risk. These findings suggest that incorporating VILPA into one’s daily routine, even in small amounts, can significantly lower mortality risk.

Implications for Fitness Professionals

For fitness professionals, these findings provide crucial insights into the potential benefits of VILPA, particularly for individuals who are not inclined or able to engage in structured exercise routines. VILPA offers a flexible and accessible way to improve health outcomes. Encouraging clients to integrate brief bursts of vigorous activity into their daily lives can be a game-changer for those struggling to find time for formal exercise.

Supporting Evidence

Stamatakis and his team are not the only researchers highlighting the importance of non-traditional physical activity patterns. Two additional studies further support the argument:

  1. A study by Whittaker et al. (2021) published in BMC Public Health found that engaging in brief, intense physical activities throughout the day, such as climbing stairs or performing high-intensity chores, was associated with improved cardiorespiratory fitness and reduced cardiovascular risk in a diverse population.
  2. A research article by Batacan et al. (2016) in the British Journal of Sports Medicine explored the effects of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) on cardiometabolic health. The researchers found that HIIT can provide significant improvements in cardiovascular fitness, insulin sensitivity, and other metabolic markers in a short period, often involving workouts as brief as 10-20 minutes. These findings reinforce the idea that brief, intense physical activity can have substantial health benefits, aligning with the concept of VILPA discussed in the previous article.

Incorporating VILPA into daily routines holds immense promise for reducing all-cause, cancer, and cardiovascular disease mortality. Fitness professionals should consider encouraging their clients, especially those who may not engage in traditional exercise, to embrace brief bursts of vigorous activity throughout the day. These findings mark a paradigm shift in how we perceive physical activity, emphasising that every movement counts when it comes to improving health and prolonging life.


  1.  Stamatakis, E., Ahmadi, M. N., Gill, J. M. R., Thøgersen-Ntoumani, C., Gibala, M. J., Doherty, A., & Hamer, M. (2022). Association of wearable device-measured vigorous intermittent lifestyle physical activity with mortality. Nature Medicine, 28(12), 2521–2529. Click here to review the full research article
  2. Whittaker AC, Eves FF, Carroll D, Roseboom TJ, Ginty AT, Painter RC, de Rooij SR. Daily stair climbing is associated with decreased risk for the metabolic syndrome. BMC Public Health. 2021 May 14;21(1):923.Click here to review the full research article
  3. Batacan RB Jr, Duncan MJ, Dalbo VJ, Tucker PS, Fenning AS. Effects of high-intensity interval training on cardiometabolic health: a systematic review and meta-analysis of intervention studies. Br J Sports Med. 2017 Mar;51(6):494-503. Click here to review the full research article 

Unlock Your Potential as a Fitness Professional

Are you ready to embark on a rewarding journey toward becoming a fitness expert who can truly transform lives? Our comprehensive Gym Instructor and Personal Trainer Course is designed to empower you with the latest knowledge and insights from cutting-edge research. Embracing the groundbreaking findings from studies like Stamatakis et al.’s work in Nature Medicine, which highlights the incredible benefits of incorporating Vigorous Intermittent Lifestyle Physical Activity (VILPA) into daily routines, our course equips you with the tools to help clients achieve remarkable results in a time-efficient manner. We also draw inspiration from Whittaker et al.’s study, emphasising the importance of breaking down physical activity into manageable segments, and Little et al.’s research showcasing the effectiveness of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) in improving cardiometabolic health. With this course, you’ll learn how to harness these scientific insights, delivering tailored fitness programmes that fit seamlessly into the busiest lifestyles. Get started today and unleash your potential to make a lasting impact on the health and wellbeing of others!

Gym Instructor & Personal Trainer Course – In-Person, Live-Virtual & Distance Study

Course Info

Get Started

View Dates

Elevate Your Training Expertise with Our T3 HIIT!

Ready to take your fitness career to the next level? Our T3 High-Intensity Interval Training Course is your gateway to mastering the transformative power of HIIT, as demonstrated by studies like Little et al.’s research. With this course, you’ll harness the proven effectiveness of short, intense bursts of exercise in improving cardiovascular fitness, metabolic health, and more. Building on the principles of VILPA highlighted by Stamatakis et al., we equip you with the knowledge and practical skills to implement HIIT into your clients’ routines, even for those with time constraints. This course will empower you to craft dynamic workouts that align with the latest scientific insights, helping your clients achieve their fitness goals efficiently and effectively. Elevate your expertise and set yourself apart in the fitness industry — enrol today in our T3 HIIT Course!

T3 High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) Coaching – In-Person, Live-Virtual & Distance Study

Course Info

Get Started

View Dates