Exercising more than recommended could lengthen life, study suggests

Getting the federally recommended amount of physical activity can reduce the risk of early death—but boosting activity higher can further reduce the risk, according to a study co-authored by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s Dong Hoon Lee.

The study, published July 25 in the journal Circulation, analyzed 30 years of medical records and mortality data from more than 100,000 adults enrolled in the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study. Researchers found that people who followed the minimum guidelines for physical activity—150–300 minutes per week of moderate-intensity activity, or 75–150 minutes per week of vigorous-intensity activity—reduced their risk of early death by as much as 21%. But people who exercised from two to four times the minimum were able to lower their risk by as much as 31%.

“Our study provides evidence to guide individuals to choose the right amount and intensity of physical activity over their lifetime to maintain their overall health,” said Lee, research associate in the Department of Nutrition and first author of the study, in a release.

Read the American Heart Association release: Getting more exercise than guidelines suggest may further lower death risk

Read a CNN article: Exercise more than the recommended amounts for the longest life, study says

Read a Psychology Today article: New Study Pinpoints How Much Exercise We Need to Live Longer

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