The study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that older men who regularly take part in a total of 3 hours of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity spread over the week have a 40% lower risk of dying than their sedentary counterparts. The team from the Norwegian School of Sports Sciences based their findings about the role of exercise on an existing health study in which thousands of men born between 1923 and 1932 were given health checks in the early 1970s when they were in their 40s. In fact, the Norwegian researchers say that boosting physical activity is as beneficial to health as stopping smoking .
- The study coincides with a report by the British Heart Foundation which found that people in the UK are two to three times more likely to take no exercise when compared with some of our European neighbours.
- An analysis indicated that those who undertook less than an hour a week of light physical activity did not see any meaningful reduction in the risk of dying.
- However, when the exercise was vigorous, there was a reduction in the risk of dying of between 23% and 37%.