Just 11 Minutes of Daily Exercise Could Help You Live Longer, Landmark Study Finds

The largest study of its kind found that even minimal daily physical activity may reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease and cancer.

mature couple walking neighborhood with their dog

There are a handful of studies that provide a guideline for how many minutes a day you should exercise, but the largest review of its kind to date may provide more concrete insight. The study, which was published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, found that just 11 minutes of aerobic exercise daily may cut early death risk significantly.

To obtain their findings, the researchers reviewed 196 previously published studies, totaling to more than 30 million adult participants who were followed for 10 years on average. The study primarily focused on participants who had completed the minimum recommended amount of exercise per week (150 minutes or 22 minutes per day).

Compared to sedentary participants, people who exercised for 150 minutes per week had a 31 percent lower chance of dying from any cause. What's more, subjects who fell into this exercise group also had a 29 percent lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease and a 15 percent lower risk of dying from cancer.

But the results show that a longer lifespan is also possible for people who exercise less frequently than the 150 minute threshold. The new study found that just 75 minutes of physical activity per week, or 11 minutes a day, may cut your risk of early death by 20 percent. They also found that 75 minutes of weekly exercise is linked to a 17 percent lower risk of cardiovascular disease and a seven percent lower risk of developing cancer.

"If you are someone who finds the idea of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a week a bit daunting, then our findings should be good news," said study author Soren Brage of the Medical Research Council Epidemiology Unit at the University of Cambridge in a press release. "This is also a good starting position—if you find that 75 minutes a week is manageable, then you could try stepping it up gradually to the full recommended amount."

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