Key To Living Longer — Get Moving

If you think you’re not getting enough exercise, you probably aren’t. But there may be an easy fix.

A research paper, published earlier this year in the American Journal of Epidemiology, finds that replacing just 30 minutes of sitting with movement every day could help prolong your life. This doesn’t have to be a workout; just a half an hour of light activity — like walking, when a person would usually be sitting — corresponded to an estimated 17% lower risk of early death.

“There used to be this whole notion of no pain, no gain — that exercise or activity has to hurt to reap benefits,” says study co-author Keith Diaz, an assistant professor of behavioral medicine at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. But this research suggests that “exercise doesn’t have to be done for hours at a time. It’s something that anyone can do. It just requires walking, even for short periods of time.”

Of course, the paper also found that higher intensity movement has a larger effect; the same amount of moderate or vigorous exercise corresponded to about a 35% lower mortality risk. But one miracle at a time — if you’re not getting much exercise to begin with, just start moving. Thirty minutes a day can make a big difference.

For the details, see “Want to Live Longer? For Just 30 Minutes a Day, Do Anything Else But Sit” by Jamie Ducharme (

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