A new study reported by Doctors Health Press - shows just how many years of life a person can gain by being physically active. It also provides more conclusive evidence on how physical fitness can extend a persons life expectancy.
The study conducted by researchers from Brigham and Womens Hospital and the National Cancer Center was applied to various exercise levels among people of all ages and body sizes. It comprised more than 650,000 people who were followed for an average of 10 years - there were 82,000 deaths during that time. The type of exercise used in the study was called leisure-time physical activity - meant to be anywhere from moderate to vigorous physical activity for the direct reason of improving fitness levels.
The study revealed:
If a person over 40 adds a low amount of exercise such as 75 minutes of brisk walking each week - they will gain 1.8 years of life compared to being inactive. This is the minimum level and any exercise performed above this will help people live even longer. If brisk walking is increased to at least 450 minutes per week, the gain will be 4.5 years. Similar patterns were consistent with people of average weight, people who are overweight, and people who are obese.
Participating in a low level of leisure-time physical activity of moderate to vigorous intensity was linked with a 19 percent reduced risk of death. This translates into nearly two years extra life. For those who did about 150 minutes of brisk walking per week, the gain in life expectancy was about 3.5 years. These benefits were seen in both men and women.
For people who are above normal weight, exercising at 150 minutes per week was linked to 7.2 years of extra life.
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