A study involving 5,700 68 to 77 year-old men in Norway, conducted from Oslo University Hospital, has found that regular exercise (whether light or vigorous) extends life expectancy.
Participants doing the equivalent of six 30-minute activity sessions of any intensity were 40% less likely to die during the 11-year study. Physical activity is considered to be as beneficial as smoking cessation at reducing deaths.
Gallagher, J. (2015). Elderly people who exercise ‘live five years longer’. London: BBC Health News, May 15th 2015.
This relates to:
Holme, I. [and] Anderssen, SA. (2015). Increases in physical activity is as important as smoking cessation for reduction in total mortality in elderly men: 12 years of follow-up of the Oslo II study. British Journal of Sports Medicine. June 2015, Vol.49(11), pp.743-748. (Click here to view the PubMed abstract).
Physical Activity Statistics (BBC / BHF)
In fact, however, statistics from the British Heart Foundation indicate that people do insufficient exercise. The percentage of adults doing no moderate exercise is estimated to be 69% in Portugal, 55% in Poland, 46% in France, 44% in the UK, 34% in Croatia, 26% in Germany and 14% in the Netherlands.
Physical Activity Statistics: 2015. London: British Heart Foundation, January 28th 2015.