Thursday, April 14, 2016

New Penn study links moving more with decreased mortality

Public Release: 25-Feb-2016
New Penn study links moving more with decreased mortality
University of Pennsylvania

"Get up and move."

That's the take-home message from a new study from Ezra Fishman, a doctoral candidate in demography at the University of Pennsylvania, and colleagues from Johns Hopkins University, the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute on Aging and others.

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, according to the research, published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.


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.

"When we compare people who exercise the same amount, those who sit less and move around more tend to live longer," said Fishman, the lead author on the paper. "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."


To account for chronic conditions or illness influencing mortality rates, Fishman and colleagues statistically controlled for factors like diagnosed medical conditions, smoking, age and gender. They also completed a secondary examination from which they entirely excluded participants with chronic conditions. Their analysis didn't extend to anyone younger than age 50 because not enough of that subset met the study requirements.

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.

"You didn't have to even get a good sweat to experience the reduced likelihood of mortality," Fishman said. "Activity doesn't have to be especially vigorous to be beneficial. That's the public health message."


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