Adults Engaging in Moderate Physical Activity Live Longer, Researchers Say

active 2A study appearing in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, indicates that adults who include at least 150 minutes of physical activity in their routines each week may live longer than individuals who do not. Study author Ian Janssesn, PhD, Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada, and his team reportedly used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the National Health Interview Study mortality linkage, and US Life Tables to estimate and compare the life expectancy at teach age for adults who were inactive, somewhat active, and active.

According to a news release from Health Behavior News Service, researchers say they defined “active” as engaging in at least 150 minutes of moderate activity per week. The results suggest that men aged 20 years old were estimated to gain as much as 2.4 years of life from moderate activity. Women, aged 20 years old reportedly gained about 3 additional years as a result of moderate activity.

Researchers report the largest impact from physical activity was exhibited in non-Hispanic black women, who gained as many as 5.5 potential years of life. Janssen notes that the results may assist in showcasing the importance of exercise, “Research has shown that the health messages that have the greatest effect on changing people’s behaviors need to be easy to understand, specific to the individual, and be phrased in a gained-framed and positive manner,” Janssen says.

Sara Bleich, PhD, assistant professor of Health Policy, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, agrees with Janssen, adding, “For healthy behavior changes such as dieting or smoking, rewards have been shown to effectively motivate behavior change.”

Source: Health Behavior News Service, part of the Center for Advancing Health