Brisk walk a day ‘can add years to your life’

London, September 01: It will not only add life to your years, but a brisk walk a day can also add years to your life, a new study has claimed.

Researchers from the Veterans Affairs Medical Centres in Washington and Palo Alto in California have carried out the study and found that brisk walking for 20 to 40 minutes daily can halve the chance of dying for elderly men.

“The overall message is that although ageing and death are inevitable, the rate for both can be modulated by simply maintaining a physically active lifestyle at any age,” said lead researcher Peter Kokkinos.

For their study, the researchers compared death rates in men aged between 70 and 92 who were sedentary compared with those of varying levels of fitness. They found that for every two minutes of exercise, the mortality rate dropped by ten per cent, reported.

In fact, in the study, involving more than 3,000 men aged between 70 and 92, the researchers took medical history along with body weight and smoking history of the subjects in to consideration and then they were followed up for an average of six years with any deaths recorded during that time.

Based on exercise tests, the men were put in four fitness categories. For every 100 men who died in the very low fitness group, 74 died in the next group up, 54 in moderately fit group and 46 in the high fit category.

Another study from the same group found that men with slightly raised blood pressure were more likely to survive if they were physically fit.

The study looked at 4,735 men with an average age of 56 and blood pressure at the high end of normal. On a measure of peak exercise capacity, the fittest men had a 75 per cent high survival rate than unfit men in 10-year follow-up period.

The findings were presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress in Barcelona.