Too many U.S. adults are dying too soon because of poor lifestyle behaviors, pure and simple. Lack of physical activity – a sedentary existence glued to your work chair, couch, etc. – is one of those poor behaviors, and it's among the most impactful in terms of longevity (or more appropriately, lack thereof).
Fortunately, increasing your physical activity levels even a little appears to make a profound difference.
According to data from a recent National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) and involving nearly 5,000 adults ages 40-85 at the start of the study, increasing moderate-to-vigorous physical activity by 10, 20 or 30 minutes per day resulted in a reduction in the number of deaths per year by 6.9 percent, 13.0 percent and 16.9 percent, respectively. While more physical activity was more protective than less, increasing physical activity by a mere 10 minutes per day still made a big difference (reducing preventable deaths by more than 111,000
Now here's the big question (or two): Why can't you find the time or energy to add 10 minutes or more of physical activity to your daily routine? As you can see from these study findings, it's clearly worth it, particularly if you're already not meeting the recommended activity guidelines of 150-300 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or 75-150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise (or an equivalent combination).