Exercise is always beneficial to the body. During years after any major illness persons who did less physical activity than the recommended amount still led to considerable decrease in the risk of death as compared to those who did no activity. This was revealed in a new analysis of six studies.
Lead author Hannah Arem of the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland says, “Our findings support the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, which recommend a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity per week for “substantial” health benefit, and suggest “additional” benefit with more than double the exercise minimum.”
Data of more than 660,000 men and women in the U.S. and Europe from previous studies were added together and analyzed. 50% of the studies tracked participants for more than 14 years and overall 116,686 deaths were recorded. Poring through the self reports of physical activities of people who did less than recommended activity, it was revealed that they were 20% less likely to die during the studies as compared to people who did not do any type of physical exercises.
For persons who achieved one to two times the recommended minimum physical activities had 31% lower mortality risk than those who did no physical exercises. Persons who did two to three times the recommended minimum activity had a 37% lower chance of mortality risk.
The mortality risk leveled at three to five times the recommended minimum amount of exercises. This is at par with a weekly minimum of walking 7 hours or running 2 hours 15 minutes.
However the author also states that there is no evidence of any adverse effects even when the person is doing 10 times the recommended amount of exercises. The results were the same regardless of the cause of death from cardiovascular diseases or cancer.
Hannah Arem said, “While we adjusted for known mortality risk factors like body mass index and smoking, we were not able to adjust for diet in this study as we did not have information available in all cohorts. However, in previous analyses in these cohorts where information on diet was available, the associations between physical activity and mortality persisted even after they were adjusted for diet.”
The latest studies give credence to the existing guidelines which states that some activity is better than no activity according to Todd M. Manini of the University of Florida in Gainesville. Todd had written an editorial accompanying the new findings.