I have posted earlier (here) on the health benefits of walking and the dangers of being sedentary. This study, with a large sample size of more than 650,000 people over 40, is pretty convincing of the health benefits of brisk walking: 75 minutes a week gets one almost 2 years more, 150 minutes gets about twice that. Not to mention improved quality of life in the interim. Most weeks, I am around well above that, but it is more for quality of life than longevity:
“This finding may help convince currently inactive persons that a modest physical activity program is ‘worth it’ for health benefits, even if it may not result in weight control,” the authors stated in a news release. No matter their weight, people who were physically active had a longer life expectancy, on average, than those who were sedentary. One of the most striking findings that backs up the importance of physical activity? The researchers found the life expectancy of people who have a “normal” BMI but are physically inactive is 3.1 years less than people who are obese but active.
The authors pointed out that “even low amounts of leisure time physical activity” may lead to a longer lifespan.
The life expectancy benefits of physical activity appear to plateau at about 300 minutes of brisk walking a week, the authors said.