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Am J Prev Med. 2013 Jan;44(1):23-9. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2012.09.056.

Years of life gained due to leisure-time physical activity in the U.S.

Author information

1
School of Kinesiology and Health Studies, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada. ian.janssen@queensu.ca

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Physical inactivity is an important modifiable risk factor for noncommunicable disease. The degree to which physical activity affects the life expectancy of Americans is unknown.

PURPOSE:

This study estimated the potential years of life gained due to leisure-time physical activity in the U.S.

METHODS:

Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2007-2010); National Health Interview Study mortality linkage (1990-2006); and U.S. Life Tables (2006) were used to estimate and compare life expectancy at each age of adult life for inactive (no moderate to vigorous physical activity); somewhat-active (some moderate to vigorous activity but <500 MET minutes/week); and active (≥ 500 MET minutes/week of moderate to vigorous activity) adults. Analyses were conducted in 2012.

RESULTS:

Somewhat-active and active non-Hispanic white men had a life expectancy at age 20 years that was ~2.4 years longer than that for the inactive men; this life expectancy advantage was 1.2 years at age 80 years. Similar observations were made in non-Hispanic white women, with a higher life expectancy within the active category of 3.0 years at age 20 years and 1.6 years at age 80 years. In non-Hispanic black women, as many as 5.5 potential years of life were gained due to physical activity. Significant increases in longevity were also observed within somewhat-active and active non-Hispanic black men; however, among Hispanics the years-of-life-gained estimates were not significantly different from 0 years gained.

CONCLUSIONS:

Leisure-time physical activity is associated with increases in longevity.

PMID:
23253646
PMCID:
PMC3798023
DOI:
10.1016/j.amepre.2012.09.056
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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