Either move more or die early

Either move more or die early

If you want to live longer, then get moving as a new study has linked moving more with decreased mortality.


The study from the University of Pennsylvania, Johns Hopkins University, the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute on Aging and others found out that even for people who already exercised, swapping out just a few minutes of sedentary time with some sort of movement was associated with reduced mortality.

Lead author Ezra Fishman and colleagues looked at data from approximately 3,000 people aged 50 to 79 who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For the study, subjects wore ultra-sensitive activity trackers, called accelerometers, for seven days, generating data compiled by the CDC. For these same people, the agency then tracked mortality for the next eight years.

The results were striking. The least active people were five times more likely to die during that period than the most active people and three times more likely than those in the middle range for activity.

Fishman said that when they compare people who exercise the same amount, those who sit less and move around more tend to live longer. The folks who were walking around, washing the dishes, sweeping the floor tended to live longer than the people who were sitting at a desk.

Though the scientists didn’t discover any magic threshold for the amount a person needs to move to improve mortality, they did learn that even adding just 10 minutes per day of light activity could make a difference. Replacing 30 minutes of sedentary time with light or moderate-to-vigorous physical activity produced even better results.

The study is published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

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