Undertaking regular jogging increases the life expectancy of men by over six years and women by five and a half years, reveals the latest data from the Copenhagen City Heart study presented at the recent EuroPRevent2012 meeting in Dublin.
Reviewing the evidence of whether jogging is healthy or hazardous, Peter Schnohr, chief cardiologist of the Copenhagen City Heart Study, told delegates that the study’s most recent analysis shows that between one and two-and-a-half hours of jogging per week at a “slow or average” pace delivers optimum benefits for longevity.
The debate over jogging first kicked off in the 1970s when middle-aged men took an interest in the past-time.
“After a few men died while out on a run, various newspapers suggested that jogging might be too strenuous for ordinary middle aged people,” recalled Schnohr.
The Copenhagen City Heart study, which started 1976, is a prospective cardiovascular population study of around 20,000 men and women aged between 20 to 93 years.
For the jogging sub study, the mortality of 1,116 male joggers and 762 female joggers was compared to the non-joggers in the main study population.
All participants were asked to answer questions about the amount of time they spent jogging each week and to rate their own perceptions of pace (defined as slow, average, and fast).
Results show that in the follow-up period involving a maximum of 35 years, 10,158 deaths were registered among the non-joggers and 122 deaths among the joggers.
Analysis showed that risk of death was reduced by 44% for male joggers. Furthermore, the data showed jogging produced an age adjusted survival benefit of 6.2 years in men and 5.6 years in women.
Further analysis exploring the amounts of exercise undertaken by joggers in the study has revealed a U-shaped curve for the relationship between the time spent exercising and mortality.
The investigators found that between one hour and two and a half hours a week, undertaken over two to three sessions, delivered the optimum benefits, especially when performed at a slow or average pace.
Source: European Association for Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation
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