Does Exercise Increase Longevity?

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Doing a few hours of exercise every week will probably help you live longer.

JAMA Intern Med. 2015 Jun;175(6):959-67. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2015.0533.Leisure time physical activity and mortality: a detailed pooled analysis of the dose-response relationship.

Study size: 660,000 people ages 21 to 98.

People who got some exercise, but not enough to meet the physical activity recommendations to get 150 minutes of moderate activity per week or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week were still 20 percent less likely to die over a 14-year period than those who did not do any physical activity.

People who engaged in the recommended level of physical activity saw even more benefit: They were 31 percent less likely to die during the study period, compared with those who did not engage in any physical activity.

The maximum benefit was seen among people who engaged in three to five times the recommended levels of physical activity; they were 39 percent less likely to die over the study period than people who did no exercise.

Found no link between very high levels of physical activity (10 or more times the recommended level) and an increased risk of death.

The people most likely to benefit from increasing the amount of exercise they do are those who do not currently do any.

Study author said: “Doctors should target this group with exercise counseling. Physicians who seek out the segment of the population that performs no leisure-time physical activity could receive the most payback in their patient’s health”.

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