Physicians' Academy for Cardiovascular Education

Morning physical activity associated with reduced CVD risk

Setting your clock: associations between timing of objective physical activity and cardiovascular disease risk in the general population

Literature - Albalak G, Stijntjes M, van Bodegom D, et al. - Eur J Prev Cardiol. 2022 Nov 14:zwac239. doi: 10.1093/eurjpc/zwac239.

Introduction and methods


Physical activity plays an important role in healthy aging. Sufficient physical activity lowers the risk of CV mortality and improves quality of life [1,2]. Large population-based studies have shown an inverse association between increased physical activity and CVD risk [3-8]. However, little is known about the association between timing of physical activity (chronoactivity) and CVD risk in the general population.

Aim of the study

The aim of this study was to examine the association between timing of physical activity and multiple CVD outcomes in the general UK population.


The researchers used data from the UK Biobank, a large prospective cohort study among 502,490 participants aged 40-69 years from the general UK population. The present study included 86,657 individuals (mean age: 61.6 years; 58% female) whose daily physical activity data had been collected using a triaxial accelerometer over a measurement period of 7 consecutive days. Participants were clustered according to their pattern of physical activity, using 24-hour means: (a) average pattern of physical activity, i.e., midday physical activity (cluster 1); (b) peak physical activity in the early morning (cluster 2); (c) peak physical activity in the late morning (cluster 3); and (d) peak physical activity in the evening (cluster 4).


The researchers were interested in multiple CVD outcomes: CAD, stroke (ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke) and ischemic stroke alone. Additional subgroup analyses were performed based on sex, total physical activity and self-reported chronotype. The follow-up duration was 6 years.

Main results


This prospective cohort study of 86,657 participants aged 40-69 years from the general UK population shows that morning physical activity is associated with a reduced CVD risk, irrespective of total physical activity, and with a pronounced effect in women.


Show references

Find this article online at Eur J Prev Cardiol.

Share this page with your colleagues and friends: