HealthDay News — More than 111,000 deaths per year could be prevented by adding 10 minutes per day of physical activity for middle-aged and older adults, according to a research letter published online Jan. 24 in JAMA Internal Medicine.
Pedro F. Saint-Maurice, Ph.D., from the U.S. National Cancer Institute in Rockville, Maryland, and colleagues examined the association between physical activity and mortality and estimated the number of deaths prevented annually with modest increases in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). The analysis included 4,840 participants aged 40 to 85 years. During a mean follow-up of 10.1 years, there were 1,165 deaths.
The researchers found that compared with the reference of 0 to 19 minutes/day, the adjusted hazard ratios varied across increasing activity categories and were 0.69 for 20 to 39 minutes; 0.51 for 40 to 59 minutes; 0.40 for 60 to 79 minutes; 0.34 for 80 to 99 minutes; 0.32 for 100 to 119 minutes; 0.30 for 120 to 139 minutes; and 0.28 for 140 or more minutes. Decreases of 6.9, 13.0, and 16.9% were seen in the number of deaths per year with increases of 10, 20, or 30 minutes MVPA/day, respectively. An estimated 111,174 preventable deaths per year resulted from adding 10 minutes per day of physical activity, with greater benefits associated with the addition of more physical activity (209,459 and 272,297 preventable deaths for 20 and 30 minutes, respectively).
“These findings support implementing evidence-based strategies to improve physical activity for adults and potentially reduce deaths in the United States,” the authors write.