15 November 2005

How Much Is Exercise Worth?

A new study details precisely how many years of life (generally health years) you gain from exercise.

People who engaged in moderate activity -- the equivalent of walking for 30 minutes a day for five days a week -- lived about 1.3 to 1.5 years longer than those who were less active. Those who took on more intense exercise -- the equivalent of running half an hour a day five days every week -- extended their lives by about 3.5 to 3.7 years, the researchers found.

The findings show that even for people who are already middle-aged, exercising more can add years to their lives, Franco said.

And how much time do you use doing the exercise that extends your life? About 5,000 hours over 40 years. Put another way, every waking hour spent exercising adds a little less than two hours to your life.


Kyle said...

Great find. Unfortunately for me I suspect there is some limiting bound on this. I excersize anywhere from 7-11 hours a week, and something tells me I'm not adding 13-20 hours to my life each week.

But then, I could be wrong.

Andrew Oh-Willeke said...

I doubt that you are anywhere near your upper bound.

Anonymous said...

So Andrew, do you think the tradeoff is worth it?

While it is for me (I'm a 3:05 marathoner and would go out for my hour run every morning even if it was proven to be bad for me), I can see how for many people, the hour of discomfort is insufficient to compensate for the 110 minutes of longer life.


Andrew Oh-Willeke said...

Believe me, it is a hard choice for some of us.