Ten minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise a day would prevent 111,000 premature deaths a year for people aged between 40 to 85 years, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine (JAMA Network).
Previous study estimates assumed that relatively large increases in activity levels — more than 30 minutes per day — would be needed. According to the modeling in the new study, if every capable adult walked briskly or exercised for an additional 10 minutes a day, 111,174 deaths annually across the country — or about 7 percent of all deaths in a typical year — might be avoided.
An extra 20 minutes a day of exercise potentially averted 209,459 deaths and 30 extra minutes a day averted 272,297 deaths — almost 17 percent of typical annual totals, New York Times reported. The data was gathered before the pandemic.
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The survey was compiled with data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Nearly 5,000 participants age 6 years and older were asked to wear an accelerometer for 7 days from 2003 to 2006.
Researchers then analyzed the activity level of nearly 5,000 participants age 40 to 85, also wearing accelerometers, and tracked death rates through the end of 2015.
Larger increases in activity resulted in greater benefits, with similar benefits observed for male and female Black Americans, Mexican Americans and non-Hispanic white Americans.
“We know exercise is good for us. This study provides additional evidence of the benefits at the population level: If all adults in the United States (over age 40) were to exercise just a bit more each day, many deaths could be prevented each year,” said Pedro Saint-Maurice, the study’s first author and an epidemiologist at the National Cancer Institute.
“We can make our nation healthier by encouraging everyone to add an additional 10 minutes of activity or more each day,” he added.
Obesity has been a major driver of diabetes for the last two decades and it is linked to 30-to-53 percent of new cases in the U.S. yearly, according to Journal of the American Heart Association Report.
In 2018, about 10.5 percent of the U.S. population had diabetes, a disease that is disproportionately higher among African Americans, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Black Americans have a 77-percent higher chance of developing diabetes, mainly due to their genetic predisposition, environmental, socioeconomic, physiological, and behavioral factors, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
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