Any Amount of Running Can Lower Risk of Early Death

A pool analysis of a variety of studies and other available evidence by a group of researchers, has found that any amount of running is linked to a lower risk of early death from any cause. The researchers believe that by more people taking up running which doesn’t have to be far or fast, there would likely be remarkable improvements in population longevity and health.

It isn’t exactly clear how running is lowering the risk of early death from any cause and particularly from cancer and cardiovascular disease. And it isn’t clear how much running a person would need to do to reap those benefits nor whether upping the duration, pace and frequency might be even more advantageous.

To try and discover how running may be linked to the lower risk of early death, the researchers systematically reviewed relevant conference presentations, published research, and doctoral dissertations and theses throughout a broad range of academic databases.

The team looked for studies in regards to the association between jogging/running and the risk of death from all causes. They found 14 suitable studies which involved 232,149 people whose health was tracked between 5.5 and 35 years. During the course, 29,951 study participants had died.

When all study data was pooled, any amount of running was found to be associated with a 27% lower risk of death from all causes for both men and women when compared to no running. And it was also found that the running was associated with a 23% lower risk of death from cancer and a 30% lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease.

Even small doses of running, for example once weekly or less which lasted less than 50 minutes each time and at a speed below 6 miles an hour, still was seen to be associated with significant longevity and health benefits.

Running for 25 minutes less than the recommended weekly duration of vigorous physical activity could possibly reduce the risk of early death. This shows that running could potentially be a good option for people whose main obstacle to doing enough exercise is due to lack of time.

The team could not find any association with further lowering the risk of early death from any cause due to upping the dose through pace, frequency or duration. And the team does caution that the small number of studies used and the methods varied considerably, might have influenced the results.

Although this is an observational study and can’t establish cause, the researchers suggest that any amount of running is beneficial than no running.

To view the original scientific study click below

Is running associated with a lower risk of all-cause, cardiovascular and cancer mortality, and is the more the better? A systematic review and meta-analysis.