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The Least Amount of Exercise Needed To Extend Life

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the it's-up-to-you-whether-or-not-you-want-to-just-do-the-bare-minimum dept.

Medicine 249

Toe, The writes "Of particular concern to couch potatoes, gamers, and anyone who spends an inordinate amount of time sitting and staring at a screen is how little exercise can I do and still receive a benefit. A new study entitled 'Minimum amount of physical activity for reduced mortality and extended life expectancy: a prospective cohort study' answers this important question. The conclusion: 92 minutes of moderate activity a week can extend your life by three years."

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92? (1, Funny)

_0xd0ad (1974778) | more than 2 years ago | (#37196506)

Obviously they meant 42.

I'm an active poster... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37196516)

does posting here count? ...for anything?

Re:I'm an active poster... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37196992)

Depends on your reaction to trolls.

Throw a 20"+ CRT across the room? That's 5 minutes, not including the time used to broom up the pieces.

Punch through an LCD? Sorry but that's half a minute (+1 minute if it's a glass screen). You can increase the activity level by standing and breaking the screen across a knee.

Write a snarky replay? Sadly that is negative 30 seconds plus the time to write (ttw) it out: -(30s + ttw)

So I get three more years... (4, Funny)

ifiwereasculptor (1870574) | more than 2 years ago | (#37196526)

...in which I'll have to exercise? Oh, let my sweet death come.

Re:So I get three more years... (4, Informative)

ari_j (90255) | more than 2 years ago | (#37196662)

Actually, it's a net gain. If you work out 92 minutes a week, 52 weeks a year, for 50 years, you have spent 166 days working out and gained over 6-1/2 times that much life. What the summary doesn't inform us is how long before you die you have to start this regimen in order to get the full 3-year benefit, which could easily make that ratio quite a lot higher. Best-case, you only work out a little under 10 days during the extra 3 years.

Re:So I get three more years... (5, Insightful)

sh00z (206503) | more than 2 years ago | (#37196812)

It gets better--following their math, 92 minutes a week gives a 14% reduction in mortality from all causes, and every additional 15 minutes gives an additional 4%. there's no point of diminishing returns identified. So, if you exercise 7 hours a week, you become immortal.

Re:So I get three more years... (4, Funny)

donutz (195717) | more than 2 years ago | (#37196946)

It gets better--following their math, 92 minutes a week gives a 14% reduction in mortality from all causes, and every additional 15 minutes gives an additional 4%. there's no point of diminishing returns identified. So, if you exercise 7 hours a week, you become immortal.

On average. In reality, some people exercising 7 hours a week will live much longer than that, and some much shorter.

Re:So I get three more years... (2)

drb226 (1938360) | more than 2 years ago | (#37197184)

if you exercise 7 hours a week, you become immortal

In reality, some people exercising 7 hours a week will live much longer than that

Who are these people and can I have their autograph?

Re:So I get three more years... (2)

dingen (958134) | more than 2 years ago | (#37197072)

Actually, it's a net gain.

It never feels like a gain in reality, because you only get more of your last years, which are crappy anyway. Having more of your middle years would be great, but alas, instead of having fun, you're now exercising during those times.

Re:So I get three more years... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37197272)

Who says you only get more of your last years? If you keep fit and healthy, you also slow down the gradual deterioration of quality. So you at least get a little bit more of everything.

Re:So I get three more years... (1)

hierophanta (1345511) | more than 2 years ago | (#37197336)

actually you get it in those middle years because you are slowing the degradation of your body, not increasing the amount of degradation your body can tolerate before it breaks

Re:So I get three more years... (1)

metlin (258108) | more than 2 years ago | (#37197576)

This is silly. At the age of 65, my father won a half-marathon. If you ate healthy and worked out regularly, you will be in the peak of your health even when you're older. Both my parents have no diabetes, no heart problems, and are generally quite healthy for their age. The only health issue they seem to have is a mild onset of arthritis.

Re:So I get three more years... (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 2 years ago | (#37197592)

It never feels like a gain in reality, because you only get more of your last years, which are crappy anyway. Having more of your middle years would be great, but alas, instead of having fun, you're now exercising during those times.

But you will get more of them! If exercise results in you living longer due to being healthier, then it stands to reason that your "middle years" -- the ones where you're in good enough shape to enjoy them -- will last longer. It's not like you're in exactly the same condition as a non-exerciser right up to the age of 95, and then squeek out another 3 years because you exercised when you were 20. It means that the time when life starts to get crappy will be pushed out. That's a win.

Plus, you could always find a form of exercise that is fun for you, having fun and increasing the amount of time you can have it. You're mainlining win at that point.

Re:So I get three more years... (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 2 years ago | (#37197084)

What the summary doesn't inform us is how long before you die you have to start this regimen in order to get the full 3-year benefit

It also doesn't address quality of life. I'd hate to put in all that effort just to be able to spend an extra 3 years bed-ridden...

Re:So I get three more years... (1)

Rei (128717) | more than 2 years ago | (#37197080)

I wonder if it's actually the exercise causing the life extension, or simply the maintaining of a healthier weight. Aka, would caloric restriction likewise extend your life? I lost ~25 kilos and got down to the lower end of the healthy weight range (instead of where I started -- the upper end of "overweight", just under "obese") simply by reducing portion sizes. No change in exercise levels.

Meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37196546)

I have some questions about this study, but I'm not going to read the article. It seems like too much work.

terrible luck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37196556)

Just my luck: I've been doing ninety ONE minutes a week all along. Shit.

Love excercise (2, Insightful)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 2 years ago | (#37196574)

Good job I love exercise, so I don't have to go around calculating the bare minimum.

Re:Love excercise (3, Funny)

yurtinus (1590157) | more than 2 years ago | (#37196604)

Bad nerd, get back in the basement and stop talking nonsense.

Re:Love excercise (1)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 2 years ago | (#37197442)

Hehe, though seriously, going from a sedentary lifestyle to an active one involves a certain pain barrier.
Perhaps as long as 2-3 weeks where you get all pain and no benefit. It's plain sailing, and all benefits after that.

OT: Troll mod? Not sure if the allocation algorithm changed, but the general quality of /. moderation is in the toilet these days. Make me want to not post.

Re:Love excercise (1)

Inda (580031) | more than 2 years ago | (#37197212)

Just remember:

You don't extend the life of a car by driving it.

Re:Love excercise (1)

PopeScott (1343031) | more than 2 years ago | (#37197436)

But your car WILL deteriorate if it's not driven. You can't just park a car in a garage and one day 30yrs later expect to get in and start it up. It MUST be run. WTF good is a car or a body if you're not using it anyway?
It's about balance.

Re:Love excercise (1)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 2 years ago | (#37197528)

Nor do you unduly wear out your body if you exercise correctly.

Being mechanical, the car analogy is useless.
Consider instead a shark, which must keep moving continuously all it's life, simply to breath.

Re:Love excercise (1)

element-o.p. (939033) | more than 2 years ago | (#37197544)

Just remember: You don't extend the life of a car by driving it.

Ummm...yeah, to some extent you do. Engine cylinders, pistons, connecting rods, bearings, etc. rust if the engine isn't periodically run. Water builds up in the oil sump due to condensation, causing even more rust, if the engine isn't run long enough to come up to operating temperature. Hoses and gaskets dry out, crack and fall apart much more quickly in cars that just sit. Electromechanical contacts corrode when they aren't used. The list goes on and on and on. Unless you have taken the time to "pickle" the engine and store the car in a suitable environment, you will actually age the car quicker by just letting it sit.

Re:Love excercise (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 2 years ago | (#37197648)

Just remember:

You don't extend the life of a car by driving it.

Hm. I think we need to invent a bio-mechanical car that responds to casual wear and tear by rebuilding itself more robustly, and then revisit this.

Re:Love excercise (1)

gregor-e (136142) | more than 2 years ago | (#37197792)

"I believe that every human has a finite amount of heartbeats. I don't intend to waste any of mine running around doing exercises."
— Neil Armstrong

What this means (1)

prefec2 (875483) | more than 2 years ago | (#37196596)

When you do nothing, really nothing you die three years earlier than the couch potato next to you who exercises 92 minutes a week. This can easily be achieved by walking fast to the pizza place 10 minutes away instead of calling for delivery. ;-)

Re:What this means (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37196648)

Question: does reading the article about minimum exercise count towards my 92 minutes? Otherwise I'm not bothering.

3 more years? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37196620)

By my calculations, as long as I live less that 330 years, this will pay off!

So what we want to know is.... (4, Insightful)

TheEmpyrean (788742) | more than 2 years ago | (#37196626)

... does masturbation count? Because I'm going to live forever at this point.

Re:So what we want to know is.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37196724)

Its 15 minutes, 6 days a week. that was the extra two minutes

Re:So what we want to know is.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37197126)

I average about an hour and a half a day of very very strenuous activity, that should plenty well do it, right?

Re:So what we want to know is.... (2)

witherstaff (713820) | more than 2 years ago | (#37197388)

How long before we can submit escort services as medical expenses?

Re:So what we want to know is.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37197764)

Wait... five minutes of frantic activity a day makes you immortal?

Let me get this right (2)

Anon-Admin (443764) | more than 2 years ago | (#37196630)

If I exercise for 92 min a week for the next 38 years I get to live an extra 3 years.

So if I total it up, I am doing 3.32 days of exercise a year to gain 25 days of life expectancy. Ok, so it seems like a deal.

Though I could just spend those 3.3 days playing the latest game, much more enjoyable and loosing 3 years is not that big of a deal.

immediate pleasure of exercise more important (1)

peter303 (12292) | more than 2 years ago | (#37196906)

It makes me feel good doing it. It makes me look better. It reduces colds and headaches. And its fun at times. Increased longevity is a bonus, but not a deal-maker.

Re:immediate pleasure of exercise more important (1, Insightful)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 2 years ago | (#37197398)

You young whippersnappers will soon learn that one reason so many of us older folks get exercise is that it reduces the amount of pain in old bones. I won't go to the gym to save my life, but I will work in the yard, garden some, mow the law, haul water in a 5 gallon bucket, wheel barrel stuff off, etc. Nothing too dramatic, but enough that it reduces the pain and inflammation in the joints and you really do feel better. The least amount is around 30 minutes a day of just moving around doing light work to get the benefits, preferably in the A.M. Ask anyone with arthritis, you will get the same answer.

Re:Let me get this right (1)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 2 years ago | (#37196936)

...Though I could just spend those 3.3 days playing the latest game, much more enjoyable and loosing 3 years is not that big of a deal.

Ahhh, spoken like [insert anyone under the age of 35 here].

Sorry, I don't mean to pick on you, but your opinion about how valuable time is will likely change drastically from the oh-so-popular "meh, fuck it, I won't even make it past 30" attitude that many younger people have.

Time. It's the one thing that no matter how rich you are, you can never buy more of, and once it's lost, it's gone forever.

Re:Let me get this right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37197364)

Time. It's the one thing that no matter how rich you are, you can never buy more of, and once it's lost, it's gone forever.

So why would you waste time (over) exercising? As the article states, 92 minutes a week of exercise is the optimum point to maximum Time (without wasting too much via exercise).

Re:Let me get this right (1)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 2 years ago | (#37197636)

Time. It's the one thing that no matter how rich you are, you can never buy more of, and once it's lost, it's gone forever.

So why would you waste time (over) exercising? As the article states, 92 minutes a week of exercise is the optimum point to maximum Time (without wasting too much via exercise).

Uh, if there is one topic that has been over-discussed and anal-yzed to an obscene level, it's fitness.

This month's health magazine will have THE "perfect" ab workout...at least until next months issue comes out, with the next "perfect" ab workout.

Sorry, but the ONLY thing I personally believe in is moderation. Moderation truly is the key to life, no matter what you are doing, including exercise. Do I believe 92 minutes is the magical number? Hell no, because it's easy for me to "moderately" exercise for 92 minutes straight one day a week, and still be living an absurd lifestyle and morbidly obese that would probably still end my life prematurely.

Exercise is an individual plan, not some magical number that applies to every single human body. And if you truly enjoy exercising, then you're certainly not wasting any time.

Re:Let me get this right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37196994)

This is the first time any species from our planet has seriously started planning to go to mars. 3 years isn't a long time, until you figure that it could be the 3 years when we achieve sustained fusion energy, an ICP0- attenuated herpes vaccine, and put a colony on Mars. Out of the 4.568 billion years since the formation of this solar system, I'm pretty sure dying in the next decade would be the *worst possible* 3 years to not be alive. It'd be like serving 20 years of jail time and having a heart attack walking over the threshold on the day you're released.

Re:Let me get this right (1)

TheCarp (96830) | more than 2 years ago | (#37197052)

Though... there are other factors. What if that only averages 6 more months of good health? 3 extra years worth it, if you spend 2.5 of it in pain or in a hospital bed?

Not saying I expect to find that, but depending on your choice of exercice and other factors...who knows. What about increased risk of injury? Your chooice of exercise may increase the odds of getting an injury that may have other complications.

encouraging but...yes we do need more than just "you get to be even older"

Re:Let me get this right (3, Interesting)

metlin (258108) | more than 2 years ago | (#37197090)

As someone who works out on a regular basis (an hour or two on most days), I will let you in on a little secret: working out is fun.

Sure, when you first get started, it feels tedious. Pointless, even. But once you start seeing the changes in your body, it becomes addictive.

For instance, most days, I can't wait to get done with work and hit the gym. Ever heard of the runner's high? Working out makes you feel great when you're done with it -- you feel euphoria when you're working out, and a feeling of accomplishment when you're done with it. But the trick is to keep at it.

In the short term, you'll feel more awake, sleep better (deeper REM sleep), and eat better (seriously, once I started working out regularly, I just started craving a wider variety of food than I'd usually eat -- more vegetables and protein, less carbs).

After a few months, you will see serious physical changes in your body that, if not anything else, helps with your vanity. :-) Plus, there's nothing quite like having a girl check you out -- it's a great feeling. As my wife is wont to say, there's nothing that women like more than a buff geek. Beauty and the brains -- can't beat that.

You can do it for any number of reasons, but you will eventually get to a point when you'll be doing it because it is fun. Once you get there, you'll look back and wonder why you didn't do it all these years. Trust me, it's worth it.

Re:Let me get this right (2)

baka_toroi (1194359) | more than 2 years ago | (#37197238)

You know, I went to the gym for like a year and it was great, I felt better than I do know. The catch is that I used to go with a friend. At this point in my life I don't really have a friend that could adapt to my schedule and I tried working out on my own: it was awfully boring, incredibly boring.

So now I'm not excercising at all because I *know* it will be boring. Any piece of advice to share?

Re:Let me get this right (2)

metlin (258108) | more than 2 years ago | (#37197518)

Can you find an activity or a sport you could participate in? A softball league or an ultimate frisbee league? Or a pick up game of soccer? Otherwise, there's always Craigslist! :-)

As someone who is always on the road, I often have this problem, but it's usually easier to find people to do activities with when you're playing a sport (no matter how bad you are at it).

The other thing is to take up an interesting and new hobby (e.g. I've been thinking of doing boxing for fun, just every Saturday for an hour). Even if it's one day a week, I know there will be someone at the ring, and it helps you get into a groove. As you start doing better, you will start participating in activities to support your performance in the sport (e.g. when I used to play soccer or tennis, I would run regularly; with boxing, I'm hoping to start lifting more).

Also, I'm not sure how feasible this is, but we've a dog -- my wife enjoys running with the dog because it's good company, and it's a lot of fun.

Re:Let me get this right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37197344)

I find that when I'm on a rowing machine or swimming laps, time actually feels like it's passing slower. They should factor that into their equation too.

Re:Let me get this right (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37197444)

This is a great comment on why geeks should start working out. Why was this modded down?

Re:Let me get this right (1)

ComplexSimplicity (993041) | more than 2 years ago | (#37197122)

If you exercise, your quality of life in your later years will be much higher as well. No exercise, means you will need a walker by the time you are 50!

calling BS (1)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 2 years ago | (#37196668)

How can one call himself a scientist and make statements like this?

"The conclusion: 92 minutes of moderate activity a week can extend your life by three years.""

It's obvious that it could only be result of very indirect studies.

Re:calling BS (1)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | more than 2 years ago | (#37196832)

Right. If I read the abstract correctly, the data is from peoples' self reporting of how much they exercise

So, the data doesn't show whether exercising makes you live longer, or whether people who are healthier also are more likely to exercise.

Re:calling BS (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37197220)

I think that people who exercise are more likely to lie about their death.

What's the definition of 'moderate' excercise? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37196670)

If it's about the same as walking to and from the bus stop for 15 minutes each day, then I can rest easy knowing I might live 3 years longer than if I didn't.

Re:What's the definition of 'moderate' excercise? (1)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 2 years ago | (#37196964)

If it's about the same as walking to and from the bus stop for 15 minutes each day, then I can rest easy knowing I might live 3 years longer than if I didn't.

Uh, a bus stop? Don't lie, you wanted to see if masturbation counted as "moderate exercise", didn't you?

quality of life (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37196698)

Don't forget that your quality of life will likely improve with exercise.

Re:quality of life (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37196948)

I miss-read that as quality of wife, which I suspect would be true for the majority of guys as well.

BS - We already got the answer from Bill (1)

joeflies (529536) | more than 2 years ago | (#37196702)

Paraphrasing Pirates of the Silicon Valley, BIll Gates makes the claim that lifespan is based on how we spend the finite number of heartbeats in a lifetime.

Re:BS - We already got the answer from Bill (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 2 years ago | (#37196766)

Easy for him to say. He could afford to have a teen's heart transplanted into him once a decade.

It isn't for the last 3 years (1)

TooMad (967091) | more than 2 years ago | (#37196716)

If you look good enough from the neck down (from all the exercise) the previous 50 some years will be that much more enjoyable.

Re:It isn't for the last 3 years (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | more than 2 years ago | (#37196842)

If you look good enough from the neck down

But what to do about the hideous thing above my neck?

Re:It isn't for the last 3 years (1)

TooMad (967091) | more than 2 years ago | (#37196934)

Go somewhere that people exercise their livers.

Re:It isn't for the last 3 years (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37197586)

Remove it. Ned Stark will approve.

Calculation suggests this is worth it (1)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 2 years ago | (#37196720)

One obvious question to ask for this sort of thing is if it is worth it. If the time increase to lifespan was less than the time necessary to spend exercising then this would be worth it. Assume a normal life span of 80 years. And assume that the exercise takes 120 minutes (showering off, changing clothes etc. pushes one above 92 minutes. I'm assuming 120 here because that makes it exactly two hours which makes the arithmetic easier). Then with 52 weeks a year, one gets that this takes up a total of 80*52*2/24, which is slightly under a year. So even if you are completely neutral to exercise and can't get any nice thinking done during it, the total delta is 2 years. So this does look like it makes sense. There's a slight argument that using time up when one is younger isn't good if the later years aren't as high quality. I'm not sure how much validity that argument has but there's some evidence that exercising keeps one healthier for the last few decades of life, so this probably increases the quality. Overall verdict: Exercising seems to make sense.

Girlfriend could help but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37196736)

It's hard enough to find a girlfriend. It's even harder to find one that wants to have sex 92 times a week.

Re:Girlfriend could help but... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37196876)

It takes you one minute? I think you are doing it wrong...

Re:Girlfriend could help but... (1)

hrvatska (790627) | more than 2 years ago | (#37197638)

Or if he's done in one minute it might explain why he can't keep a girlfriend.

Re:Girlfriend could help but... (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 2 years ago | (#37197724)

You're doing "getting the joke" wrong.

Remember, nay sayers, (2)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 2 years ago | (#37196740)

...That's 3 more years in which you can defend your high score.

Life Expectency vs. Extended Years (1)

nitroscen (811508) | more than 2 years ago | (#37196770)

An interesting concept to note: TFA mentions they found it extends life expectancy by three years. With this, I would argue that the exercise was found to "extend your life" by more than three years.

For example, imagine I said there was a process to delay "old age" deaths by 50 years. Does your life expectancy go up 50 years? No, it goes up far less than that due to other types of death that can occur.

It's all semantics and statistics anyway, but I just thought I'd point out they were using life expectancy values.

Re:Life Expectency vs. Extended Years (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#37196910)

Also, lifespan only covers one aspect of the situation. Quality of life isn't addressed. The extra 3 years you get from exercise might just be an extra bonus compared to how well you're able to live in the interim.

On the other hand... (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 2 years ago | (#37196774)

...you could ignore the whole issue and gamble that a pill that has the same effect will be invented soon.

Re:On the other hand... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37196926)

They have that pill already, but chronic necronic necrosis is one of the potential side effects...

Depends... (1)

itchythebear (2198688) | more than 2 years ago | (#37196776)

Depends on what kind of animal is chasing you...

Pretty specific number (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37196786)

considering how varied the population is in weight, mental condition and eating habits. From the abstract, I can't really see how they addressed that. I'm overweight, and am currently working to get rid of the spare tire attached to my waist. I've found that by trying to exercise more, I find myself getting out more, and spending more time with friends and family. In fact, going on hikes, walks, runs and bikes with friends and family has improved my life more than the three years is worth, and my day to day mood has vastly improved. Hell, my love life has even gotten better. The abstract doesn't really say too much about this, but I suspect there's a lot more to longevity than just physical attributes. I have no data to support that, of course, but I have a feeling that going out, exercising and socializing with people certainly couldn't hurt one's life expectancy. Even if you don't get those three years, the ones you have will certainly be more enjoyable.

Full paper (1)

quarterbuck (1268694) | more than 2 years ago | (#37196796)

The full pdf paper is slightly more informative. While the summary would seem to indicate that chances of mortality decreases linearly with increasing exercise, from Figure 2 of the chart it seems like after 100 minutes a day the benefits taper off. So it seems like 15 minutes a day is good,150 is overdoing it. http://www.natap.org/2011/HIV/PIIS0140673611607496.pdf [natap.org]
They also note that ex-smokers exercised more than the norm, so that might be contributing to the decrease in cancer rates (correlation, not causation). Probably very imp. considering the study was done in Taiwan.

Exercise is good (1)

ohnocitizen (1951674) | more than 2 years ago | (#37196800)

I know we are geeks here and "supposed" to hate exercise, but exercise is great. It helps cognitive health(http://www.fi.edu/learn/brain/exercise.html, http://news.illinois.edu/news/04/0216exercise.html [illinois.edu] ) and emotional health (http://news.illinois.edu/news/04/0216exercise.html). Increasing your agility and endurance can save your life in a dangerous situation.

It doesn't have to be boring either. You can practice martial arts or swordsmanship (and what helps you get into a Song of Fire and Ice better than being able to cook some of the dishes and work on swordplay in between books?). Sex counts too (http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/health/sex/better-sex-guide/sex-positions-that-double-as-exercise/), you can get pretty creative in the bedroom. You can grab a bunch of like minded friends, and invent games yourself.

Re:Exercise is good (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 2 years ago | (#37196856)

You can grab a bunch of like minded friends, and invent games yourself.

And with luck, you can use the tips from the fitness magazine with your group of friends.

Re:Exercise is good (1)

ohnocitizen (1951674) | more than 2 years ago | (#37197506)

Hahahaha. WIN. I'm off to find and join an orgy club, and if one doesn't exist, create one.

20 miles equivalent of cardio (3, Insightful)

peter303 (12292) | more than 2 years ago | (#37196866)

I've heard this expressed in terms of weekly calories expended in heart-raising exercise, i.e 2000. Walking, running, biking (3x miles), etc. doesnt matter so much as long that many calories are burned. Neither whether its compressed into a couple of long sessions or divided into many ten-minute mini-sessions. In fact it recommended to choose the most pleasant form of cardio to you so can you can continue to do to for 50 or 70 more years.

This data comes from the "grandfather" of the exercise boom Dr. Kenneth Cooper. He wrote a book called Aerobics in 1968 promoting endurance exercise over the then-popular calesthetics. He ignited the running boom by putting the on top of his 60-point-week exercise classification system. Running gets you there in the shortest time.

Above 2000 exercise calories a week the situation gets murkier. You get additional, but diminishing longevity results up to about 5000 calories (50 miles walking/running). After that the main effect is improve sports performance, not longevity. Dr. Ken even claims that too much exercise may create more oxidative waste than the body can eliminate and then decrease longevity. But this is a minority opinion and irritates the ultra people.

Re:20 miles equivalent of cardio (1)

casi0qv (1184909) | more than 2 years ago | (#37197620)

I strongly question the notion that burning calories or raising your heart rate are (independently) where the benefits of exercise come from. Numerous studies show that short duration high intensity exercise (such as Tabata Intervals, or the weight training methods in "Body by Science") produce the same or greater metabolic adaptations (VO2 max, strength, weight loss) with significantly less time spent, and significantly less calories burned. Health improvements from exercise come mostly from activating a specific biological response/adaptation by applying a specific type of stress to your body, not from altering your energy homeostasis by burning calories. Running is probably one of the worst forms of exercise for improving health, since it causes long term joint/leg problems, and tends to cause muscle wasting as your body consumes muscle to maintain glucose levels... but the exercise doesn't use muscles in a way that induces a hypertrophic response.

Only exercise 92 min/wk ... (2)

gstrickler (920733) | more than 2 years ago | (#37196902)

... unless you're enjoying the exercise, or are rich enough to retire. Here's why: Assume you spend 8+ hours per day sleeping, eating, and bathing, and work 40 hours a week (plus travel to/from work). There are 8760 hours per year, of that at least 2,920 hours are sleeping, eating & bathing. Working 40hr/s & 50 weeks (2 weeks vacation) = 2,000 hours. So, at best, you net 3,840 hours/yr, and realistically, closer to 2,500-3,000. Then you spend time shopping, doing housework, being sick, etc.

  • 92 minutes per week gives you an average of an extra 3 years of life. That's ~80 hrs per year for ~75 years = ~ 6,000 hours exercising. In return, you get 3 years extra life. So, 3 yrs will give you 7500 - 11,500 hours of additional free time. That gains you something, but it's not huge.
  • Spending an extra hour a week exercising to get to 150min/week, means spending an extra 52 hrs/yr * 79yrs (75 + 4 extra) means you'll spend 4,180 extra hours exercising to gain just one additional year, which I've already established nets you at most 3,840 hrs (less in reality), which is a net loss of free time.

So, if you're enjoying the extra exercise, or you can afford to retire, then that extra hour per week might be worth it, but if not, put in your 92 minutes and call it good. Remember, you read it hear first.

Re:Only exercise 92 min/wk ... (1)

gstrickler (920733) | more than 2 years ago | (#37197086)

Two typos in my post "4180" should be "4108" and "hear" should be "here". Preview is nice, but is /. ever going to get an edit option?

Worthless study (1)

surferx0 (1206364) | more than 2 years ago | (#37196912)

As a fitness professional who has worked with a countless number of people at different fitness levels in different stages of their lives, trying to quantify the number of years gained with exercise completely misses the point and is deceiving.

Truthfully exercise will probably net someone little to no extra years in their life. However the quality of those years is where the significant difference will be. If someone wishes to be physically active with their body well into their elder years, then exercise will allow for that. However if someone is content being completely inactive, then exercise will provide little benefit to them and honestly they should just not bother with it.

Diet will have a far bigger impact on actual life expectancy than exercise ever could.

Breath in, breath out. (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 2 years ago | (#37196942)

Breath in, breath out.

Put fork in food. Lift fork to mouth. Chew.

Walk to bathroom. Do my business. Flush toilet.

Failure to do any of these on a regular basis is very likely to shorten my life significantly.

--

Oh, why flush the toilet? To not get killed by the guy who comes in after me.

Sweet (1)

Megalodactyl (2445348) | more than 2 years ago | (#37196956)

I am well into the clear then, that and with a standing desk arrangement I'll have a long and productive life.

Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37196968)

Just seems like a waste. I'm smoking and extremely obese. Why would I want to live longer?

Two words: (1)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 2 years ago | (#37196974)

Standing desk.

Causation? (1)

screwzloos (1942336) | more than 2 years ago | (#37197070)

I'm willing to bet that on average, the people that fit in the workout group also ate healthier food, didn't smoke, and kept their excess weight down. If you completely ignored the workout aspect (or selected a test group where they were all equally inactive) and looked at just eating and smoking habits and body fat percentages, would you find the same three year difference? (Rhetorical; I know the answer.)

It's about quantity, not quality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37197174)

Who cares how long you eventually live. Take a look at someone approaching old age after a lifetime of inactivity versus someone who exercised regularly and tell me which one you'd rather be. I see many folks in their late 60s and early 70s who can't stand up straight and for whom every movement is painful, who get winded doing the simplest of activities, etc. They can't play actively with their grandkids or even walk through a supermarket without assistance. Meanwhile, I see plenty of folks who have gotten regular exercise who have far, far higher quality of life well into old age. They might die at the exact same age, but I know which one I'd rather be. That said, it seems that being overweight is the single most important factor when talking about physical mobility in old age - based on my very casual observations. Being fat will have you riding a scooter around your supermarket while folks 10 years older than you amble on by quite comfortably. And you just don't see many fat people who are well into their 80s and 90s, probably for good reason.

Okay (1)

TafBang (1971954) | more than 2 years ago | (#37197252)

This was my facebook status days ago. people need to quit being fat as fuck

Another clumsy study (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37197324)

According to the summary, each additional 15 minutes of exercise reduces mortality risk by 4%. There's no cap, no diminishing returns? So if I exercise 5 1/2 hours a day, I can reduce my risk to zero?
The methodology of these studies are always so questionable too. A - it's self-report. B - it's just a tenuous association. I don't see any mention of controls for diet, stress, sleep, etc. I'm going out on a limb here, but maybe people who exercise more eat better too.

gamers and exercise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37197390)

Would you please, in the future, refrain from using the cliché that gamers don't get exercise?
Thank you.

(captcha: smelly. :D )

You don't become less active when you get old... (3, Insightful)

MetalliQaZ (539913) | more than 2 years ago | (#37197402)

...you get old when you become less active.

Statements like that quoted in the summary are pure silliness. On average, exercise will tend to extend life expectancy, but that is certainly not the whole story. Plenty of exercise, proper nutrition, and stimulating thought will improve quality of life for many years leading up to death. Those years are the time to enjoy the life you have.

Another epidemiological study misinterpreted? (1)

casi0qv (1184909) | more than 2 years ago | (#37197496)

This is an epidemiological study, so it cannot establish cause and effect. It's highly plausible that people whom live longer also exercise more, because of other factors (such as being physically able to). There's also many different types of exercise with totally different metabolic effects, which this study doesn't isolate. Moreover, it's only capable of looking at the range of activity present in the population it's looking at (relatively sedentary people in Taiwan). Personally, I think if you're going to do exercise for the explicit purpose of improving health and extending life, you shouldn't focus on replicating the amount of time spent exercising by the longest lived people in this group. There's a lot more information you can learn from also (biochemical understanding, exercise physiology studies, other epidemiological studies of other populations, etc.) I suspect spending less time doing high intensity exercise (such as the 8 minutes/week of heavy weight lifting to total failure as explained and justified biochemically in great detail in the great book "Body by Science") is much more likely to extend life span, and prevent metabolic syndrome (the main cause of death in developed countries) with much less time commitment. Not to mention that it will make you ****ing ripped with significant measurable weekly increases in strength that continue for a year or two. High intensity exercise (like weight lifting or sprinting) can use up most of your glycogen reserves quickly, and with little chance of injury in a way that almost no other exercise can. This improves insulin sensitivity (one of the main problems of metabolic syndrome) significantly for weeks after the exercise.

Not the minimum (1)

jdavidb (449077) | more than 2 years ago | (#37197520)

What if I only want to extend my life by 2 years? Why is 3 years the quantum, here?

Not enough information. (1)

tool462 (677306) | more than 2 years ago | (#37197572)

Did they factor in how much of that extra 3 years is due to the time dilation of moving closer to the speed of light than a sedentary person?

I just can't take this study seriously if they're going to gloss over obvious issues like this one.

There is a lot more to this story... (1)

pk001i (649678) | more than 2 years ago | (#37197676)

...but the authors also calculated the least publishable unit [wikipedia.org] , and found that with just 92 minutes of work per week they can extend their funding by three years.

Bicycling! (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#37197906)

The *only* benefit I have gained by moving where I have has been that I can now bicycle to and from work. While I have considered that it may somehow extend my life in some way, I am often more concerned about how it might shorten it. ;)

Seriously, people. I have ridden a roller-coaster of experiments on myself mixing diet and exercise and there is little to be gained through exercise. Sure, you need to keep your heart healthy and your circulatory system working well, but as far as I am concerned, that is the only real benefit of regular exercise. If you want to get or keep the weight down, nothing influences that more than diet.

Last year, I went on low-carb and heavy cycling. Once I reached my target weight and size, I went back to normal eating (which in all honesty isn't "good" eating) and I maintained my cycling. Before long, I was gaining weight and my pants were feeling tighter.... and I NEVER stopped cycling. (I do about 10 miles a day minimum... somewhere between 40 and 70 minutes each day depending on traffic and weather)

So every time I hear something about exercise without mention of diet, I have to shake my head. And you don't have to go low-carb to diet either... you can drop meat and greasy foods and push vegetables. (Just don't mix fats with carbs... one or the other, but not both) But since this study was done in Taiwan, I doubt they have a horrible obesity rate there and that they eat better than we do in the US, so it's probably a non-issue in this case.

I can do the math also (1)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 2 years ago | (#37197946)

Tonight, I'm going to exercise for 92 minutes. In 2.9 years, I'll again exercise for 92 minutes. Just do it.
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