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. 2011 Oct 1;378(9798):1244-53.
doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(11)60749-6. Epub 2011 Aug 16.

Minimum Amount of Physical Activity for Reduced Mortality and Extended Life Expectancy: A Prospective Cohort Study

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Minimum Amount of Physical Activity for Reduced Mortality and Extended Life Expectancy: A Prospective Cohort Study

Chi Pang Wen et al. Lancet. .

Abstract

Background: The health benefits of leisure-time physical activity are well known, but whether less exercise than the recommended 150 min a week can have life expectancy benefits is unclear. We assessed the health benefits of a range of volumes of physical activity in a Taiwanese population.

Methods: In this prospective cohort study, 416,175 individuals (199,265 men and 216,910 women) participated in a standard medical screening programme in Taiwan between 1996 and 2008, with an average follow-up of 8·05 years (SD 4·21). On the basis of the amount of weekly exercise indicated in a self-administered questionnaire, participants were placed into one of five categories of exercise volumes: inactive, or low, medium, high, or very high activity. We calculated hazard ratios (HR) for mortality risks for every group compared with the inactive group, and calculated life expectancy for every group.

Findings: Compared with individuals in the inactive group, those in the low-volume activity group, who exercised for an average of 92 min per week (95% CI 71-112) or 15 min a day (SD 1·8), had a 14% reduced risk of all-cause mortality (0·86, 0·81-0·91), and had a 3 year longer life expectancy. Every additional 15 min of daily exercise beyond the minimum amount of 15 min a day further reduced all-cause mortality by 4% (95% CI 2·5-7·0) and all-cancer mortality by 1% (0·3-4·5). These benefits were applicable to all age groups and both sexes, and to those with cardiovascular disease risks. Individuals who were inactive had a 17% (HR 1·17, 95% CI 1·10-1·24) increased risk of mortality compared with individuals in the low-volume group.

Interpretation: 15 min a day or 90 min a week of moderate-intensity exercise might be of benefit, even for individuals at risk of cardiovascular disease.

Funding: Taiwan Department of Health Clinical Trial and Research Center of Excellence and National Health Research Institutes.

Comment in

  • Survival benefit associated with low-level physical activity.
    Nigam A, Juneau M. Nigam A, et al. Lancet. 2011 Oct 1;378(9798):1202-3. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(11)61029-5. Epub 2011 Aug 16. Lancet. 2011. PMID: 21846576 No abstract available.
  • Exercise and life expectancy.
    Efroymson D, Berti P, Daniel K. Efroymson D, et al. Lancet. 2012 Mar 3;379(9818):799-800; author reply 800-1. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(12)60340-7. Lancet. 2012. PMID: 22386022 No abstract available.
  • Exercise and life expectancy.
    O'Keefe JH, Patil HR, Lavie CJ. O'Keefe JH, et al. Lancet. 2012 Mar 3;379(9818):799; author reply 800-1. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(12)60339-0. Lancet. 2012. PMID: 22386023 No abstract available.
  • Exercise and life expectancy.
    Veerman JL, Barendregt JJ, Cobiac LJ. Veerman JL, et al. Lancet. 2012 Mar 3;379(9818):799; author reply 800-1. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(12)60338-9. Lancet. 2012. PMID: 22386024 No abstract available.
  • Exercise and life expectancy.
    Croft AM, Palmer JV. Croft AM, et al. Lancet. 2012 Mar 3;379(9818):800; author reply 800-1. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(12)60341-9. Lancet. 2012. PMID: 22386025 No abstract available.

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