Staying alive: New M.D. Anderson study finds that 15 minutes of light exerciseadds years to your life
According to a new study led by researchers at Houston's own M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, 15 minutes of exercise a day is all it takes to add three years to your life.
The study, which surveyed 416,175 people in Taiwan over 12 years from 1996 to 2008, found that light exercise for 15 minutes each day extended the expected lifespan of participants by three years, compared with people who didn't exercise at all.
To help researchers assess their health, participants took part in standard medical screenings and filled out questionnaires about their lifestyles and normal physical activity.
Fifty four percent of participants were "inactive," meaning they exercised less than one hour a week. And more is better — mostly. (Most doctors recommend 150 minutes of exercise a week — 15 minutes a day amounts to just 105.)
Those who exercised for 30 minutes every day, as opposed to 15, added an average of four years to their life expectancy.
But don't get carried away — while a person's risk of death from any cause dropped four percent with every additional 15 minutes of daily exercise, the benefits plateaued at 100 minutes a day, or an hour and 40 minutes of physical activity.