Friday, November 11, 2011

Exercise and Longer Life

According to the research article sited below, which pertains to a study conducted in Taiwan, when compared to persons who do not engage in any physical activity(exercise) a day - those who exercise 15 minutes a day or 90 minutes a week, live longer.  The more active a person is the greater the benefit.

In this study, they divided people into groups: 1)no exercise, 2)low, 3)moderate, 4)high and 5)very high (meaning very active).  When they compared each group to the no exercise group they all lived longer but the very active group had the greatest increase in life expectancy.  The study actually looked at two outcomes.  The rate of death from any cause and from cancer and the length of life or life expectancy. 

There were more deaths from any cause in the groups with the lower rates of exercise compared to the higher ones.  The greatest rate of death was in the no exercise group.  These findings held across gender, age and heart disease status. 

You can see the abstract or report summary here.  I will give you this take home message - moderate physical activity is better than minimal physical activity, but some is ALWAYS better than none.  I have said this before.

Minimum amount of physical activity for reduced mortality and extended life expectancy: a prospective cohort study. Lancet.  2011; 378(9798):1244-53
Wen CP; Wai JP; Tsai MK; Yang YC; Cheng TY; Lee MC; Chan HT; Tsao CK; Tsai SP; Wu X
Institute of Population Science, National Health Research Institutes, Zhunan, Taiwan.

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