Physical Activity Extends Life Expectancy 4.5 Years.

We know that physical activity has a long list of benefits, one of which includes extending your life expectancy. But by how much? Thanks to a new study by researchers from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), we now have the answer.

Up to 4.5 years.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human services recommends that adults between the ages of 18 and 64 complete 2.5 hours of moderate intensity physical activity each week (or 1.25 hours of vigorous intensity activity). Using these guidelines, researchers from NCI looked at data from 650,000 adults while controlling for other factors that could influence life expectancy.

Based on the data, researchers found that getting just half the recommended physical activity resulted in a life expectancy gain of 1.8 years. Getting the full recommended amount of physical activity resulted in a 3.4 year gain. Getting twice resulted in 4.2 years. And getting triple the amount of activity resulted in a 4.5 year gain.

Not surprisingly, researchers found that obesity was linked to shorter lifespans – but they also discovered that physical activity helped to reverse some of the harm. Whether or not you’re in shape, physical activity helps to extend your life expectancy.

We know that regular physical activity helps maintain healthy weight, strong bones, agile joints, muscle mass, psychological well-being and a reduced risk of certain diseases. And now, looking at this study’s findings, we can see those benefits collectively quantified in terms of life expectancy.

It’s why I like to say that we don’t have time not to workout. I have too much to do to die 4.5 years early. What about you?

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  1. I think this is probably the most important benefit of regular exercise. My gram may be 83, but she doesn’t act like it. Any time the temperature allows she is out on the golf course several times a week. Because she is so active she can deliver meals on wheels to some people that are younger than she is.

    Being active has allowed her to enjoy her older years, rather than sit on the side and watch everyone else have fun. I hope to have this in my future.


  1. […] Because exercise extends your life expectancy […]