15-minute exercise can extend lifespan, new study

Researchers say that light exercise for as little as 15 minutes a day can extend your lifespan by three years as well as reduce the risk of cancer. The Taiwanese researchers examined more than 400,000 respondents in a 12-year period from 1996 to 2008.
 A survey has indicated that routine exercise increases a person's lifespan. The New Times /File Photo
A survey has indicated that routine exercise increases a person's lifespan. The New Times /File Photo

Researchers say that light exercise for as little as 15 minutes a day can extend your lifespan by three years as well as reduce the risk of cancer.

The Taiwanese researchers examined more than 400,000 respondents in a 12-year period from 1996 to 2008.

The research whose results are published in The Lancet, a leading health journal, indicates that those that worked out for more than 30 minutes a day added about four years to their lifespan, but those that exercised for at least 15 minutes a day had their mortality rate dropped by 14 percent.

Dr. Manobhiram Nellutla, Head of Department of Physiotherapy at Kigali Health Institute (KHI), told The New Times that the research's results are in line with most other research findings.

“Most of them, like American College of Sports Medicine, propagate a 30 minute medium intensity exercise for much beneficial uses. And hence a 15 minute exercise is helpful in reducing risk factors towards death,” Nellutla said.

“For Rwandans, this is of importance since we are trying to strive towards a developing country and hence busy with our work. This gives less time to think of physical exercise.

“So 15 minutes or even more of daily exercise will help in keeping the endurance and power of the muscles, increases calcium in the bones, improves cardio-pulmonary efficiency, decreases chances of obesity, and others.”

 Cardio-pulmonary efficiency is a person's lung capacity and circulatory effectiveness.

Nellutla says there is need to conduct research in Kigali “to substantiate where we are. Especially to see how people exercise.”

Exercises such as brisk walking, easy jogging, biking and ballroom dancing are among the list of options.

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