A study of more than 30 million people’s physical activities has found that spending 11 minutes a day in moderate-to-vigorous aerobic exercise each day can significantly lower your risk of cancer, heart disease or premature death, The Washington Post reported.
The results of the study published Tuesday in the British Journal of Sports Medicine looked at data from 196 studies that included a total of 30 million adults.
According to researchers, the study focused on adults who participated in at least 150 minutes of exercise per week, or 22 minutes per day. The exercise cited included walking, running, dancing, cycling and swimming
Compared with inactive participants, those who had done 22 minutes of aerobic activity daily had a 31% lower risk of dying from any cause, a 29% lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease and a 15% lower risk of dying from cancer.
“It was already known that doing some physical activity was better than doing none. However, because of the extensiveness of our study, we were able to establish this association more precisely,” said Leandro Garcia. Garcia is a public health researcher at Queen’s University Belfast who led the new study.
Even people who got just half the minimum recommended amount of physical activity showed a benefit, Garcia said.
Those who got 75 minutes of moderate-intensity activity per week, or 11 minutes of activity per day, had a 23% lower risk of early death from any cause, a 17% lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease and a 7% reduction in the chance of developing cancer.
Moderate activity was classified as being able to talk but not sing during an activity. Vigorous activity was classified as not being able to carry on a conversation during an activity.
Researchers also said in the report that 16 percent, or 1 in 6, of all premature deaths would not happen if almost everyone exercised for 150 minutes a week, meeting the current guidelines.