Research shows that even a little bit of exercise every day can help you live longer, regardless of weight loss.
A study recently published in the online edition of American Journal of Epidemiology evaluated data collected from 123,216 men and women over the course of 14 years.
Researchers from the American Cancer Society found that heart disease was more likely to be a cause of premature death than cancer. Inactivity and obesity have been shown to increase the risk of heart disease.
The study adjusted for other risk factors of premature death, including smoking and BMI, and analyzed the effect of sitting for long periods of time. Women who sat for at least six hours per day were shown to be 37% more likely to die than women who sat for less than three hours per day. Men who sat for long periods of time were 17% more likely to die than the men who did less sitting.
Researchers noted that getting regular exercise did decrease the risk of death, but that even people who found time to exercise were more likely to suffer from premature death if they sat for extended periods of time during the day.
Dr. Alpa Patel, the study’s lead author, concluded that, “the more time you spend sitting, the less total energy expended and you can have consequences such as weight gain and increased obesity.” In other words, getting up regularly may contribute to a longer life as well as weight loss.