Running Just Minutes a Day Cuts Death Risk

Even if you're running slowly: study
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 29, 2014 8:35 AM CDT
Running Just Minutes a Day Cuts Death Risk
Running minutes a day could extend lives.   (Shutterstock)

Good news for those who keep meaning to exercise, but can never seem to find the time: If you can manage a few minutes of running a day—even going slowly—you may cut your risk of death from cardiovascular disease. So suggests a new, 15-year study of more than 55,000 adults. Researchers found that the risk of death from any cause among runners in the group was 30% lower than the risk among non-runners; runners also faced a 45% lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease, according to a press release.

The fascinating part: "The benefits were the same no matter how long, far, frequently, or fast participants reported running," the release notes. Nor did a person's sex, age, or body mass index matter, and even smokers saw the same benefits. Runners lived an average of three years longer than non-runners. The study prompts the researchers to suggest that running should be promoted as seriously as smoking and obesity are discouraged. Researchers do, however, note a caveat: The study doesn't prove that running causes longer life, and it's possible—despite efforts to control for outside factors—that those who run are just healthier in general, WebMD adds. (But be careful: Earlier this year, another study found that running too much could kill you sooner.)

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