New research suggests just 10 minutes of daily exercise for those above the age of 40 could extend life expectancy.
In a study published by the JAMA Internal Medicine journal on Monday, researchers found 10 minutes of exercise a day could have saved the lives of around 110,000 people aged 40 to 85 per year.
An increase to 20 or 30 minutes of exercise a day could save even more lives, with the authors saying this is the first study they know of using accelerometer-based measurements to estimate the number of lives that could be saved through physical activity.
They used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to study the activity levels of those in their age range and when they died through the end of 2015.
“We know exercise is good for us. This study provides additional evidence of the benefits at the population level: if all adults in the United States (over age 40) were to exercise just a bit more each day, a large number of deaths could be prevented each year,” epidemiologist Pedro Saint-Maurice, the study’s first author, told CNN.
“We have reported previously that even a little bit of exercise can result in health benefits,” Saint-Maurice said. “This study doesn’t focus on the benefits for individuals, but rather at the level of the population. We can make our nation healthier by encouraging everyone to add an additional 10 minutes of activity or more each day.”