Vigorous exercise could help reduce risk of early death, an Australian study of middle-aged and older adults says.
US journal JAMA Internal Medicine published results of the study based on 204,542 people observed for more than six years. During the study period, over 7,400 deaths were registered.
Compared with those who did no physical activity, those who did up to 149 minutes per week of physical activity had a 34 per cent reduced risk for dying, and the reduced risk was 47 percent for those who reported up to 299 minutes per week of physical activity, and 54 percent among those who reported 300 minutes per week or more of physical activity.
The risk of mortality for those who included some vigorous activity, such as jogging, aerobics or competitive tennis, was 9 to 13 percent lower, compared with those who only undertook moderate activity, such as gentle swimming, social tennis, or household chores.
Lead author Klaus Gebel from James Cook University's Center for Chronic Disease Prevention said, "The benefits of vigorous activity applied to men and women of all ages, and were independent of the total amount of time spent being active.
"The results indicate that whether or not you are obese, and whether or not you have heart disease or diabetes, if you can manage some vigorous activity it could offer significant benefits for longevity." Co-author Ding Ding from University of Sydney's School of Public Health said the results indicated that vigorous activities should be more strongly encouraged in clinical and public health guidelines.
The current advice from the World Health Organization (WHO) and health authorities in countries including the US, Britain and Australia is for adults to accumulate at least 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week.
The researchers cautioned that older people and those with medical conditions should talk to their doctor before engaging in vigorous exercise.