New Study Says Active Life Extends Life

November 19, 2012 — What would you do to live an extra 4 years or so? It might be easier than you think.

A recent NIH research study reported last week in PLOS Medicine found that meeting or exceeding 150 minutes per week of moderate to vigorous intensity exercise is associated with an increase in life expectancy of roughly 3.4 to 4.5 years, compared with no activity. The study also indicated that inactive obese participants had a life expectancy between five to seven years shorter than people with normal weight who were moderately active.

To determine the number of years of life gained from leisure-time physical activity in adulthood, which translates directly to an increase in life expectancy, researchers examined data on more than 650,000 adults. These people, mostly age 40 and older, took part in one of six population-based studies that were designed to evaluate various aspects of cancer risk.

“Our findings highlight the important contribution that leisure-time physical activity in adulthood can make to longevity,” said study author Steven Moore, Ph.D., of NCI’s Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, and lead author of the study. “Regular exercise extended the lives in every group that we examined in our study — normal weight, overweight, or obese.”

Read further the summary article in NIH News by clicking here, and read the PLOS Medicine study here.