Any kind of physical activity can make people above the age of 60 years live longer, says a new study. 75 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity a week or 15 minutes a day was associated with health benefits in older adults.
"We believe that the target for physical activity in the current recommendations might be too high for older adults and may discourage some of them," said the researchers.
For the research, databases that assessed risk of death according to weekly physical activity for those aged 60 and above were analyzed. Physical activity was measured in Metabolic Equivalent of Task (MET) minutes, which express the amount of energy (calories) expended per minute of physical activity. Moderate intensity activity ranges between 3 and 5.9 MET minutes while vigorous intensity activity is classified as 6 or more.
The study showed that risk of death was lowered to 22 percent in people who worked out for less than 500 weekly MET minutes than those who were inactive.
"Much of the health benefit seemed to be for a reduced risk of dying from heart disease or stroke, while the reduction in deaths from all causes was considerably greater in older women than it was in older men," said the authors.