Numerous studies have demonstrated a positive correlation between exercise and longevity, but a massive study published in The Lancet further quantifies the benefit.
The study examined more than 400,000 men and women from 1996 to 2008, and placed individuals into one of five groups depending on weekly exercise levels: inactive, low activity, medium activity, high activity or very high activity. Then, mortality risks were compared to the inactive group – and life expectancy was calculated.
The low activity group exercised an average of 92 minutes per week, or roughly just 15 minutes per day. Despite their low levels of activity, this group still benefited from a 14% reduction in all-cause mortality and a 3 year extension of life expectancy. With some very quick calculations for this group, it means that roughly every minute at the gym extended their life by 3 minutes. Not too bad.
In this way, it’s smart to think of exercise as an investment in your future. It’s like a 401k or retirement plan for your life. Invest a few minutes today for a huge benefit down the road.
Moreover, the benefit of exercise on longevity increased for each subsequent group, though with diminishing returns. Every additional 15 minutes of exercise decreased the mortality rate by another 4%.
The takeaway is pretty simple: Move more, live longer. If you want to enjoy a long stay on this planet, regular exercise is one of the best ways to ensure a lengthy and healthy life.