A study of approximately 20,000 participants in the Copenhagen City Heart study, which began in 1976, has confirmed that people who engage in regular activity can potentially increase lifespan more than five years over those who are sedentary. Researchers at Bispebjerg University Hospital in Copenhagen compared 1,116 male joggers and 762 female joggers to others who did not jog. The participants answered questions about the time and pace of their jogging and the researchers tracked deaths that occurred during the 35 year follow-up. The protective benefit was significant with only 122 deaths among those who jogged compared to 10,158 among non-joggers.
The researchers also confirmed that strenuous exercise, a faster pace or longer times are not required and are not as beneficial as a slow or moderate pace a few times per week. The risk of dying over the follow-up period was 44% lower for the joggers, which translates into 6.2 extra years for men and 5.6 years for women. It was just 1 – 2.5 hours per week, performed two to three times which produced the greatest benefits. The study noted that this was particularly true when the pace was slow or average. Not only did the slow joggers outlive sedentary people but they also lived longer than people who practiced more extreme levels of exercise.
The researcher’s conclusion was that these results definitively answer the question of whether jogging is good for your health and they also felt they could say with certainty that regular jogging increases longevity.
We agree and would like to add that a regular walking program would most likely confer similar benefits without any stress on the joints or the need for special clothing or equipment. If more people were aware of this, perhaps more would get up, out and active, not only increasing their lifespan, but their quality of life as well.
Your thoughts and comments are always welcome.