Even an hour a week of moderate exercise can reduce mortality by 22% in people 60 and older.
More and more studies are showing how people who exercise consistently really do live longer. However, current exercise guidelines recommend 150 minutes a week of moderate-to-vigorous-intensity physical activity, so for many less active folks the question becomes, “How little exercise can someone do and still benefit?”
A recent meta-analysis of studies looked at over 120,000 people over 60 for an average of nearly 10 years and found the answer: something is way better than nothing.
Mortality was correlated with 4 graded levels of weekly moderate to vigorous activity: Inactive, low, medium or high amounts of this kind of metabolic exercise.
The low group had a 22% reduction in mortality risk. And spending more time in moderate-high intensity exercise increased the benefits, with the moderate group seeing a 28% reduction in all-cause mortality, and the high-level groups (over 3 hours a week of moderate to high activity) seeing a 35% reduction in mortality.
“A dose of moderate-to-vigorous-intensity physical activity below current recommendations reduced mortality by 22% in older adults. A further increase in physical activity dose improved these benefits in a linear fashion. Older adults should be encouraged to include even low doses of moderate-to-vigorous-intensity physical activity in their daily lives.”
Dr. Weiniger’s Datapoint:
The 1st and 5th Posture Principles from Stand Taller~Live Longer: An Anti- Aging Strategy put it well:
- #1 Your Body is Made to Move
- #5 Use it to Keep It
David Hupin, Frédéric Roche, Vincent Gremeau, Jean-Claude Chatard, Mathieu Oriol, Jean-Michel Gaspoz, Jean-Claude Barthélémy, Pascal Edouard (2015). Even a low-dose of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity reduces mortality by 22% in adults aged 60 years: A systematic review and meta-analysis. British Journal of Sports Medicine, bjsports-2014. Br J Sports Med doi:10.1136/bjsports-2014-094306. Retrieved from http://bjsm.bmj.com/content/early/2015/07/02/bjsports-2014-094306.short?rss=1