Evidence and other resources for exercise and good health

Many studies have documented the benefits of exercise on various health aspects. We have listed some below.

Physical activity reduces depression risk for all people

Analysis of 49 prospective cohort studies, in which 266,939 people were followed up for 7.4 years observed significant protection for depression for all age groups, sexes, all geographic regions. Risk reduction observed for those exercising from 60 minutes a week, with optimal levels at 150 minutes per week.

Am J Psychiatry, 2018; 00, 1-18

Men with erectile dysfunction can improve their sexual function with 40 minutes of aerobic exercise, four times a week

A Systematic Review of 10 Intervention Studies showed that supervised training consisting of 40 minutes of aerobic exercise of moderate to vigorous intensity 4 times per week improves erectile dysfunction. Overall, weekly exercise of 160 minutes for 6 months contributes to decreasing erectile problems in men with erectile dysfunction caused by physical inactivity, obesity, hypertension, metabolic syndrome, and/or cardiovascular diseases.

Sex Med. 2018 Jun; 6(2): 75–89.

Older adults who exercise above current recommended levels have a reduced risk of developing chronic disease compared with those who do not exercise

A study of 1,584 adults aged 49 + years living west of Sydney (Australia), shows that older adults who engaged in higher levels total physical activity (≥5000 MET minutes/week) at baseline were 2-fold more likely to be disease-free and fully functional, that is, having aged successfully 10 years later.

Scientific Reports 8, Article number: 10522 (2018)

Walking faster reduces death risk

A study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine finds that walking faster reduces risk of dying (of any reason, but mainly from cardiovascular disease: heart attacks, strokes, etc.) when compared to walking slow pace by 24%, but even walking average pace is better than slow pace by 20%. For those over 60 there is even a stronger response: 45% reduction when walking average page compared to slow pace and 55% when walking fast. Walking fast is at pace of 6km/h and for approx 150minutes a week.

BJSports (2017), 098677

Exercise after a heart attack reduces risk of dying

Patients who had a heart attack were followed for 4 years afterwards - the risk of death lessened with the amount of regular exercise - up to 59% when compared to those who were inactive.

European Society of Cardiology congress, EuroPrevent 2018.

Women between ages 38 and 60 who exercise and stay fit avoid and delay dementia

In a Swedish study, women between the ages 38 and 60 were followed up for the onset of dementia over 44 years. In those assessed most fit only 5% of women developed dementia (and at a much later age by 9 years) than who were moderately fit - 25% developed dementia compared to 32% of those that were of low fitness.

Neurology® 2018;0:e1-e8