Sport is not only healthy for every person, but also does not have a significant impact on the total population of the country. A study now found this using the example of the USA.
If you exercise regularly, you will not only keep yourself fit and flexible, but also boost your health. Because sports can reduce the risk of disease, and according to studies, it also has the effect of prolonging life.1 Positive effects that do not only benefit the individual. A US study has now found that exercise can save lives, too.
Group study with 5000 participants
Can health benefits be transferred from an individual to the entire population? This is exactly what US researchers wanted to know and analyzed data from 4,840 participants in “National Health and Nutrition Examination”. The national long-term study records the health status as well as the diet and exercise habits of children and adults in the United States.
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In order to track the impact of exercise, the researchers analyzed data from adults between the ages of 40 and 85. The focus was on the activity level of the test subjects, which was recorded via the accelerometer. In addition, the scientists tracked the mortality rate in the study group until the end of 2015. Researchers divided participants’ activity levels into the following categories: 0-19, 20-39, 40-59, 60-79, 80-99, 100-119, 120 139 or more than 140 minutes of exercise per day.2
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Sport saves lives
To determine how many deaths could be avoided through exercise, the scientists calculated prevalence estimates for the population and used the risk quotient. The latter was adjusted for influencing factors such as age, gender, race, education level, body mass index, diet, alcohol consumption, smoking status, chronic disease, movement restrictions, and general health. The result was clear: sport can save lives. And many survive, with only a few minutes of exercise a day.
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Just 10 minutes of extra exercise a day could prevent hundreds of thousands of deaths
Using their model, the researchers estimated that even a slightly increased (moderate to severe) level of exercise had a significant effect. If people 40 and older, in particular, did just 10 minutes of exercise a day, it could save about 110,000 lives a year — in the US alone! Of course, the biggest positive effect would be an extra 20 or 30 minutes of physical activity per day.
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