New study suggests that people who walk more have increased chances of living longer
Researchers hope to increase guidelines to encourage people to walk more
Study shows that people who walk more had 1/3 less death rate
People who walk more than recommended by current exercise guidelines may live longer than those who don’t. A new study published in PLOS One shows substantial health benefits to exceeding current exercise guidelines.
The American Heart Association’s recommended guidelines are for adults to walk, or be physically active for a mere two and a half hours per week. The new study suggests that those who meet or exceed these recommendations are likely to live longer.
Paul Williams, from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory states that, “An important question left to be answered is how much walking is beneficial.”
Paul Williams analyzed over 42,000 people who enrolled in the National Walkers’ Health Study between 1998 and 2001. Each of the participants completed a questionnaire in regards to their health and lifestyle. Death records were tracked over this period to accurately study the health benefits of people who walk more.
Over a period of nine and a half years, 6 percent of the participants had died, or 2,448 people. Those who reported that they walk more had a death rate that was one-third lower than those who reported walking at lower rates. Of the death rates, people who claimed that they walk more had lower occurrences of dying from a stroke, diabetes and heart disease.
Paul Williams suggests that the guidelines should be bumped up to walking, or being physically active for a minimum of five hours per week instead of the current two and a half standard, while also developing a two-tiered recommendation system that encourages people to exercise more than they do currently.
“Achieving the weekly exercise guidelines is good, but exceeding them is even better.” Williams reportedly stated.
Some argue that while exceeding the guidelines can be beneficial, the current guidelines are appropriate.