Research published this year in the British Journal of Sports Medicine has determined that just 30 minutes of exercise, six days a week, can result in a reduced risk of early death by 40 percent, regardless of the intensity of the exercise.
The researchers followed nearly 15,000 men born between 1923 and 1932. The men’s exercise and sedentary levels were measured along with the number of deaths that occurred during two 12-year study periods. In the second 12- year period, the researchers followed almost 6,000 of the surviving men. The researchers compared those men that were sedentary with those that exercised either moderately or intensely and found that moderate to intense exercise increased their average lifespan by five years. This improvement was comparable to the difference between smoking and non-smoking, according to the researchers.
The data comes from the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, in Oslo. The scientists’ finding confirms that public health practices for elderly men should include efforts to increase physical activity, along with efforts to reduce smoking.