Increasing exercises levels is known to reduce mortality, especially from such causes as heart attack and stroke, as well as some cancers. But how much is enough?
Researchers have recently reviewed nine studies involving a total of 122,417 participants who were monitored for an average of around 10 years. During this period, 18,122 patients died.
In terms of reduced mortality rate (dying from a disease), they found that exercising, relative to totally inactive people, those getting 1 to 100 minutes of moderate plus exercise per week cut their risk for death by 22%, those getting 100-200 minutes cut their risk by 28%, and those getting 200 minutes or more cut their risk by 35%.
Examples of moderate to vigorous activities include brisk walking, cycling, swimming, and gymnastics.
Doing some quick calculation, you can see that 100 minutes per week is only five 20 minute sessions per week, and that is an excellent start to drop the mortality rate by 22%. A great first step.
Br J Sports Med doi:10.1136/bjsports-2014-094306