Being A Little More Fit Helps

from Tufts University

Your morning workout may help you live longer than your neighbor who never budges from the couch!

  • New research on 4,384 middle-aged and older Americans finds that physical activity boosts longevity - even beyond exercise's cardiovascular benefits and effects on weight.
  • Researchers assessed participants' fitness using treadmill tests, divided them into five groups based on fitness, then followed them for an average of nine years.
  • After adjusting for factors like obesity, hypertension and diabetes, the least-fit group was still more than four times as likely to die during that period than the most-fit group.
  • Even being just a little more fit was associated with a big longevity improvement: While 25% of the least-fit group died during the study period, only 13% of the next-least-fit participants died.
  • Researchers noted that overall exercise habits among participants didn't vary much during their adults lives - but recent activity did: Since it is recent activity that offers protection, it is important to maintain regular physical activity throughout life.