Does leisure activity lengthen your life or do you harm?

For those of you who (like me) are conscious their bodies are “getting older”, this recent JAMA review is very informative – and encouraging!

Personally, I find my mind does not know my body cannot do what it use to – until I injure myself!

Regular activity decreases my injury risk, but, after knee, back and hernia episodes, too much activity too soon is risky! So now I slowly but regularly increase my activity intensity – and injuries are fewer! And I’m “body-wiser”.

Hence I was delighted to read this article.

In a meta-analysis of 6 studies, 700,000 individuals (and 120,000 deaths), Arem, Moore, Patel, et al asked and answered 4 Q’s:

  • Does the recommended 75 mins activity per week decrease your mortality expectancy? Yes, 20% less risk
  • Does more activity give you more reduction in mortality risk? Yes, somewhat  (31-39% less risk)
  • Is there a level of activity beyond which no further decrease in mortality occurs? Yes, at 3-5 times the weekly recommendation
  • Does even more activity do you harm? No, at least not at 10 times the recommended activity level.

The full article is downloadable free at http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=2212267.