Research since the 1980’s has consistently shown that aerobic fitness may help extend lives. Exercise provides a remarkable variety of health benefits, ranging from strengthening the skeleton to positive effects on mood and aiding in the prevention of chronic illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease.
Exercise extends Life
Recent research has shown that exercising,even a little, extends life. Norwegian researchers discovered that being too sedentary was associated with a higher risk of premature death.
Researchers analyzed data from 8 studies including over 36,000 adults aged 40 and older, for 6 years.
During the study, nearly 6% died. The researchers concluded that any amount of physical activity, regardless of intensity, was associated with a significantly lower risk of premature death.
Mortality rates fell sharply as activity increased to an amount similar to average activity among US men and were about 10% to 15% lower than the exercise levels of Scandinavian men and women.
A similarly sharp drop in mortality rates was associated with increased amounts of light exercise of up to 300 minutes per day and moderate to vigorous exercise for 24 minutes per day.
The biggest difference in the risk of premature death was between the least and most active, with 5 times more deaths among the inactive than the most active. The researchers also found that spending at least 9.5 hours a day sitting was associated with a statistically significantly increased risk of premature death.
The research was published in the BMJ. Ulf Ekelund, a professor at the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, said the findings reinforce evidence that any amount of exercise is beneficial for well-being.