Exercise Prevents Nearly 4 Million Premature Deaths a Year Worldwide

Saturday, June 20, 2020 - 12:06

Based on a new research, physical activity reduced premature deaths by 15 percent, or about 3.9 million lives saved per year.

For the study, the researchers analyzed data from 168 countries on the percentage of people who were getting recommended levels of exercise. The World Health Organization recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, 75 minutes of vigorous activity, or an equivalent combination each week, UPI reports.

By combining the exercise data with estimates of the risk of dying early among active and inactive people, the investigators estimated how many premature deaths were prevented by physical activity.

The conclusion: Physical activity reduced premature deaths by 15 percent, or about 3.9 million lives saved per year.

Much attention is focused on the health risks of inactivity, but the benefits of exercise need to be highlighted, according to the researchers at the University of Edinburgh and University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.

"By focusing on the number of lives saved, we can tell a good news story of what is already being achieved," said study author Tessa Strain, a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Cambridge.

"It tells us how much good is being done and helps us say 'look how much benefit physical activity is already providing -- let's make things even better by increasing physical activity levels further,'" she said in a university news release.

Being active during coronavirus lockdowns can be challenging, so the researchers offer the following suggestions: Go for a daily walk cycle or do whatever activity you are able to do while maintaining social distancing stretch or do yoga for your muscles and joints join an online exercise session. If it's an option, gardening is great for stretching and bending.

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