The Lancet has published a study about the effect of exercise on longevity. The results should embarrass every couch potato in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.
The article, based on a study of a Taiwanese population, concludes that getting a mere 15 minutes of exercise a day results, on average, in an additional three years of life. Every additional 15 minutes of exercise beyond that baseline has an appreciable positive effect on mortality. In short, minimal effort — and let’s face it, 15 minutes of moderate activity exercise a day is pretty darned minimal — will produce meaningful results, and exercise beyond that minimum will enhance those effects.
So why don’t more people get off their butts and walk, or take the stairs instead of the elevator at work? Instead, we’ve got people who, like Homer Simpson in the classic Simpsons episode, are striving toward a goal of being the fattest person ever to give birth or to tip the scales at more than 1000 pounds. It’s pretty pathetic when you think about it.