Light Intensity Physical Activity Helps Prolong Life Expectancy, Experts Suggest

A recent study suggested that performing physical activity or PA even at light intensity can help increase a person’s chances of prolonged life expectancy.

Photo: Light Physical Activity Helps Prolong Life | InStyleHealth


The study covered 6,636 participants in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2003 – 2006). A light-intensity PA was defined in tertiles (low, medium, and high), while survival models were utilized to estimate the years of life gained from each physical activity category.

There was a total of 994 mortalities occurred at 55,520 person-years. The average follow-up period was 11 years.

At the age of 20 years, individuals with low, medium, and high light-intensity PA had a predicted life expectancy of 53.92, and 58.44 years, correspondingly. This revealed that the medium and high PA levels could produce gains in years of life of 2.89 and 3.07 years.

Corresponding years of life gained at 45 and 65 years of age were 2.51 and 1.52 years with medium light-intensity PA, and 2.66 and 1.62 years with high light-intensity PA.

These correlations observed were pronounced in individuals performing moderate-to-vigorous PA below the average but not for those with moderate-to-vigorous PA above the average.

Provided the low prevalence of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity in populations, PA promotion initiatives may take advantage of emerging evidence on light-intensity PA and target the most inactive groups, according to experts.

 

Source: Am J Prev Med2021;doi:10.1016/j.amepre.2021.02.012

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