New Study: More Physical Activity=Longer Life
The medical journal BMJ published a report that links higher levels of physical activity, at any intensity, to a lower risk of early death in middle-age and older people.
Led by Prof. Ulf Ekelund of the Norwegian School of Sports Sciences located in Oslo, Norway, researchers analyzed studies uing accelerometers — a wearable device that tracks the volume and intensity of activity — to measure total activity, intensity levels were separated into categories of light, moderate and vigorous.
Cooking or washing dishes were examples of light intensity, brisk walking or mowing the lawn were considered moderate intensity, and jogging or carrying heavy loads were used as examples of vigorous intensity. The risk of death for participants was approximately five times higher for those who were inactive compared to those who were the most active, according to the researchers.
The study was conducted on 36,383 adults who were at least 40 years old with an average age of 62. Participants were tracked over an average of 5.8 years.
At least 150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity each week are recommended guidelines, according to the National Institute for Health. Although, the study says that these guidelines are based on self-reported activity, which is often imprecise.
According to the researchers, the public health message may simply be: “Sit less and move more and more often.”