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Australians Live Longer with Vigorous Activity

An Australian study finds that people who indulge in vigorous activity are less likely to die early.

Australian researchers have looked at how activity level is related to longevity.

In this study, more than 200,000 adults ranging in age from 45 through 75 were tracked from February, 2006, through June, 2014. Though not everyone plays Aussie “footy” (Australian rules football, as seen in the photo), those who engaged in moderate to vigorous physical activity were less likely to die during the study period. Australians who had any moderate to vigorous activity had a 34 percent lower risk of mortality than those who reported none.

Better Results from Vigorous Activity:

Vigorous exercise provided people even more protection. In comparison to those who did no vigorous activity, those who reported that at least a third of their exercise qualified as vigorous were only 87 percent as likely to die. The authors point out that

“Lack of time is a major barrier to physical activity. Because vigorous activity is more time-efficient in achieving health benefits than moderate activity, promoting vigorous activity might be particularly fruitful for those for whom insufficient time is a major barrier.”

They conclude that, “Doing some vigorous activity might be important for increasing longevity among middle aged and older adults.”

The dose-response relationship that the researchers uncovered suggests, though it does not prove, that the link is causal: more exercise leads to better health and lower mortality rates. This connection is not limited to Australia. Americans also get great benefit from moderate or vigorous activity, as another study this week demonstrates.

JAMA Internal Medicine, June, 2015

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.”.
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