A new study from Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital, in collabortion with the National Cancer Institute has published results that have quantified how many life years are further gained by being physically active. Harvard Medical School Professor of Medicine I-Min Lee, and senior author said, “We found that adding low amounts of physical activity to one’s daily routine, such as 75 minutes of brisk walking per week, was associated with increased longevity: a gain of 1.8 years of life expectancy after age 40, compared with doing no such activity. The study also found that physical activity above this minimal level brought greater gains in longevity.  Dr. Lee added, “For example, walking briskly for at least 450 minutes a week was associated with a gain of 4.5 years. Further, physical activity was associated with greater longevity among persons in all BMI groups: those normal weight, overweight and obese.”

Participants who fared the best were those who were active and at normal weight. “Our findings reinforce prevailing public health messages promoting both a physically active lifestyle and a normal body weight,” said Steven C.Moore, research fellow at the National Cancer Institute and lead author of the study.  Still, these findings may help encourage inactive persons to exercise for greater longevity even if they don’t lose weight……  Harvard Gazette   11/9/12


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