Massive worldwide study shows that even a little exercise extends life; Vigorous exercise even more helpful | New Scientist

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Over the period studied, Scott Lear, from McMaster University in Canada and his colleagues found that 150 minutes of activity per week reduced the risk of death from any cause by 28 per cent and rates of heart disease by a fifth.

Being highly active was associated with even greater benefits: people who spent more than 750 minutes walking briskly each week reduced their risk of premature death by 36 per cent. . . .

Results showed that it was not necessary to run, swim or work out at the gym. Household chores such as vacuuming or scrubbing the floor, or merely walking to work provided enough exercise to protect the heart and extend life. . . .

“The clear-cut results reinforce the message that exercise truly is the best medicine at our disposal for reducing the odds of an early death,” says James Rudd, senior lecturer in cardiovascular medicine, at the University of Cambridge. “If a drug company came up with a medicine as effective as exercise, they would have a billion-dollar blockbuster on their hands and a Nobel prize in the post.”

MoBikeFed comment: This is the message we have been bringing home to Missouri for years: Even a little basic exercise a few times a week has huge benefits.

That could mean something as simple as housework, yardwork, walking or cycling around the neighborhood, or walking to work. Just a few minutes every day is all that's needed.

For those who are able, taking this up to the next level brings even more benefits. This generally means more extended walking, bicycling, hiking, running, or other cardiovascular exercise daily.

The benefits are huge--as Rudd says, if exercise were a drug, it would be a multi-billion dollar blockbuster.

These are the results of the world's largest-ever study of the effects of physical fitness, with over 130,000 participants in 17 countries.

Original journal article is The Lancet, DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(17)31634-3, found online here:

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