Tag Archives: University of Pennsylvania

Increased Activity Decreases Mortality – University Study

I have used the phrases move it or lose it and eat less, move more, live longer more times than I can remember. Any guesses?

Now comes a new University of Pennsylvania study that reiterates those phrases in spades.

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Cycling is only one of hundreds of ways we can move our bodies.

That’s the take-home message from a new study from Ezra Fishman, a doctoral candidate in demography at the University of Pennsylvania, and colleagues from Johns Hopkins University, the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute on Aging and others.

Even for people who already exercised, swapping out just a few minutes of sedentary time with some sort of movement was associated with reduced mortality, according to the research, published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

Fishman, part of Penn’s Population Studies Center, and the other researchers looked at data from approximately 3,000 people aged 50 to 79 who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For the study, subjects wore ultra-sensitive activity trackers, called accelerometers, for seven days, generating data compiled by the CDC. For these same people, the agency then tracked mortality for the next eight years.

The results were striking. The least active people were five times more likely to die during that period than the most active people and three times more likely than those in the middle range for activity.

“When we compare people who exercise the same amount, those who sit less and move around more tend to live longer,” said Fishman, the lead author on the paper. “The folks who were walking around, washing the dishes, sweeping the floor tended to live longer than the people who were sitting at a desk.”

Previous activity-tracking studies have drawn similar conclusions. But, according to Fishman, such studies usually ask participants to monitor their own exercise frequency and quantity, numbers they notoriously over-report. Also, the trackers used for NHANES have a higher level of precision than what’s typically employed. Continue reading

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Filed under aging, Exercise, longevity