A recent study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine says that the habit of running, irrespective of the distance or time, can significantly help reduce the risk of early death. The study authors examined a number of past studies, conference presentations, dissertations, etc., to help understand the link between running and its effect on certain diseases. The health records of about 232,149 individuals were assessed by the researchers collected from 14 different studies that monitored their health spanning between 5.5 to 35 years.
The analysis revealed that the participants who were used to running had their death risk decreased by 27% in comparison with those who never ran. Such participants, regardless of their sex, had a 30% overall lowered death risk from cardiovascular diseases. About 25,951 participants died during the course of the studies. According to a Telegraph report, Huw Edwards, chief executive of not-for-profit health body ukactive, said, “Physical activity can help to treat and prevent more than 20 lifestyle-related diseases and this research shows the importance of taking the first step and doing things at your own pace so that it is sustainable.”
The study authors wrote in the paper, “The [World Health Organization] guidelines and national physical activity recommendations in many countries […] suggest that adults should take part in at least 150 [minutes] of moderate-intensity or 75 [minutes] of vigorous-intensity physical activity a week.” However, the new study shows that those who ran as less as once a week for a period of not more than 50 minutes, also experienced health benefits including lowered death risk from cancer.
The new observational study shows that running for an extra amount of time than what is prescribed didn’t amount to additional health benefits. The risk of death among such participants also didn’t decrease any further even with an extra bit of running time. Although the study doesn’t prove cause and effect, it shall help motivate people who do not run due to the fear of not being able to meet the recommended time.