More than 130,000 healthy men and women aged 35 to 70 from urban and rural areas of 17 countries, including Canada, Brazil, Turkey, Zimbabwe, China, and Poland, volunteered to fill out questionnaires about their regular physical activity. None had cardiovascular disease.
Over the next seven years, those who reported being physically active for 2 ½ to 12 ½ hours a week were 20 percent less likely to die. Those who were active more than 12 ½ hours a week were 35 percent less likely to die.
The physical activity included housework, walking to work, job-related exertion, as well as jogging or going to the gym. It all counted toward better health.
Full disclosure: Since this was an observational study, it can’t prove that physical activity was the cause of the lower death rate.
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