Quantifying Gains in Life Expectancy Correlated With Exercise

In recent years a number of studies have tried to put numbers to the gains in life expectancy that might accompany exercise. Here is another:

In pooled data from six prospective cohort studies, the researchers examined associations of leisure-time physical activity of a moderate to vigorous intensity with mortality. They analyzed data from more than 650,000 subjects and followed subjects for an average of ten years - analyzing over 82,000 deaths.

Participation in a low level of leisure time physical activity of moderate to vigorous intensity, comparable to up to 75 min of brisk walking per week, was associated with a 19 percent reduced risk of mortality compared to no such activity. Assuming a causal relationship, which is not specifically demonstrated in this research, this level of activity would confer a 1.8 year gain in life expectancy after age 40, compared with no activity. For those who did the equivalent to 150 min of brisk walking per week - the basic amount of physical activity currently recommended by the federal government - the gain in life expectancy was 3.4 years.

Participants faring best were those who were both normal weight and active: among normal weight persons who were active at the level recommended by the federal government, researchers observed a gain in life expectancy of 7.2 years, compared to those with a BMI of 35 or more who did no leisure time physical activity.

You might compare these results to those obtained from a study of highly trained athletes and work examining jogging and life expectancy.

Link: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-11/bawh-paa110512.php


the abstract itself says that the relationship is not proven to be causal.

Posted by: kip at November 7th, 2012 2:13 PM
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