Research has proven just how much increasing your activity levels can improve your lifespan.
According to the study of 6,600 people over 12 months, carried out by VitalityHealth, people who increased their activity levels to 150 minutes a week – about 21 minutes a day – saw their life expectancy increase by more than three years, as reported by The Independent (www.independent.co.uk)
This is the current UK national guideline amount of exercise for adults, but if that seems unachievable, the researchers found that moving for just 90 or 60 minutes a week increased lifespans by 2.7 years and 2.4 years respectively.
The researchers calculated their findings by analysing each participant’s “Vitality Age.”
This is an aggregate measure of wellness that evaluates the gap between physical body age and actual age.
By surveying participants before and after they made changes to their everyday behaviour, the researchers were able to assess the impact of behaviour on life expectancy.
Participants revealed that the main barriers preventing them from exercising were time constraints (31 per cent), cost (21 per cent) and not enjoying it (19 per cent).
Today is National Fitness Day, however, when Brits are encouraged to get active and move more.
One way in which experts are doing this is by showing the public how we can be “everyday athletes.”
The idea is that by making small changes – such as taking the stairs or standing for half an hour at work – you can factor exercise into your daily routine without trying.
And the calories you can burn really do add up, as the table shows.
Exercise improves your mental wellbeing, self-esteem, strength, fitness and motivation, but if those reasons aren’t enough to inspire you to get moving, perhaps the prospect of adding three years on to your life will do the trick.