Jogging 'increases life expectancy'

 

Jogging for as little as an hour a week can put years on your life, new research has shown.

Regular running increases the average life expectancy of men and women by around six years, a study found.

The greatest benefit came from jogging at a "slow or average" pace - enough to cause slight breathlessness - rather than pushing to physical limits.

Danish heart expert Dr Peter Schnohr, who led the study of almost 2,000 male and female joggers, said: "The results of our research allow us to definitively answer the question of whether jogging is good for your health.

"We can say with certainty that regular jogging increases longevity. The good news is that you don't actually need to do that much to reap the benefits."

The jogging research is part of the Copenhagen City Heart Study which has been monitoring the health of 20,000 Danish men and women aged 20 to 93 since 1976.

A team led by Dr Schnohr looked at death rates among a sub-group of 1,116 male and 762 female joggers over a period of up to 35 years.

Participants were asked how much time they spent jogging each week, and whether they ran at a slow, average or fast pace.

Compared with non-joggers in the main heart study population, the risk of death for both male and female runners was reduced by 44%.

The data showed that, after taking account of age, jogging increased the lifespan of men by 6.2 years and of women by 5.6 years.

Further analysis of the association between jogging and death rate revealed a "U-shaped curve".

This meant improvements were seen with increasing levels of exercise until an optimum point was reached, after which they reduced.

Between one hour and two-and-a-half hours of moderately paced jogging a week, undertaken over two to three sessions, was ideal, said the scientists.

"The relationship appears much like alcohol intakes," said Dr Schnohr, who presented the findings today at a meeting of heart experts in Dublin. "Mortality is lower in people reporting moderate jogging than in non-joggers or those undertaking extreme levels of exercise.

"You should aim to feel a little breathless, but not very breathless."

He said jogging delivered multiple health benefits, including raised oxygen uptake, increased insulin sensitivity, higher levels of "good" HDL cholesterol, lowered blood pressure, and reduced blood clotting.

Regular running also improved heart and immune function, bone density while reducing inflammation, and protection against obesity.

Jogging first became popular in the 1970s when middle-aged men started running to reduce their risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Since then there has been an ongoing debate about whether, on balance, jogging is beneficial or harmful.

"After a few men died while out on a run, various newspapers suggested that jogging might be too strenuous for ordinary middle-aged people," said Dr Schnohr.

Dr Schnohr, from Bispebjerg University Hospital, led another study reported last year which showed that cycling can increase lifespan by five years.

But in this case it was "fast pedallers" who did the most intense exercise who benefited most.

The EuroPRevent2012 meeting, taking place in Dublin over the next two days, is organised by the European Association for Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation.

Natasha Stewart, senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, said: "Physical activity has long been associated with improved health and so it's no surprise to see just how beneficial jogging could be.

"Staying active can help prevent and manage a wide variety of health conditions and keep your heart in great shape. It can help the way you look and feel today but could also help to protect your heart health in the future too.

"Jogging might not be for everybody but there are plenty of other ways to keep active. Swimming, walking or even a spot of gardening can be beneficial, too. If you have concerns about the impact of exercise on your health, visit your GP first."

PA

Sport
sportSo, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
News
One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
tvCould Mrs Brown's Boys have taken lead for second year?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz in Tim Burton's Big Eyes
film reviewThis is Tim Burton’s most intimate and subtle film for a decade
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
Arts and Entertainment
Madonna is not in Twitter's good books after describing her album leak as 'artistic rape and terrorism'
music14 more 'Rebel Heart' tracks leaked including Pharrell Williams collaboration
Sport
Rooney celebrates with striker-partner Radamel Falcao after the pair combine to put United ahead
footballManchester United vs Newcastle match report
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executive- City of London, Old Street

    £40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...

    Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager

    £40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...

    Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwickshire

    £25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...

    Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketing Controller (Financial Services)

    £70000 - £75000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketi...

    Day In a Page

    A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

    Christmas without hope

    Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
    After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

    The 'Black Museum'

    After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
    Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

    Chilly Christmas

    Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
    Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

    'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

    Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
    Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

    Ed Balls interview

    'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
    He's behind you, dude!

    US stars in UK panto

    From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

    What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

    Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
    Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

    Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

    Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
    Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

    Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
    Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

    Autism-friendly theatre

    Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all