Studies show that researchers say running reduces the risk of death.
Washington: Running can reduce the likelihood of death for any reason, the new study says. If more people are running and not having to run far or fast, there is likely to be a significant improvement in people's health and longevity, the researchers conclude.
The study is published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. It is unclear how good running is to prevent the risk of death for whatever reason and in particular cardiovascular disease and cancer, the researchers said.
It is not clear how much human labor should be used to harness these potential benefits, nor whether by increasing frequency, duration, and pace, in other words, increasing the "dose" – may be even more advantageous.
To try and find out, researchers have systematically reviewed relevant published research, conference presentations, and doctoral theses and dissertations across a wide range of academic databases. They were looking for studies of the link between running / jogging and the risk of death from all causes, cardiovascular disease and cancer.
They found 14 relevant studies involving 232,149 people whose health lasted from 5.5 to 35 years. During this time, 25951 of the study participants died. When the study data were collected, any amount of running was associated with a lower risk of death of 27 percent, for both sexes, compared to no running.
And, it was associated with a 30% lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease and a 23% lower risk of death from cancer. Even small "doses", for example, once a week or less, lasting less than 50 minutes each time, and at speeds below 6 miles (8 km) per hour, still seemed to be associated with significant health / longevity benefits. .
Thus, running for 25 minutes less than the recommended weekly duration of vigorous physical activity can reduce the risk of death. This makes running a potentially good option for those whose main obstacle to sufficient exercise is lack of time, the researchers suggest.
But supplementing the "dose" was not associated with a further reduction in the risk of death for any reason, the analysis showed. This is a case study and as such cannot determine the cause. Researchers also warn that the number of studies included is small and their methods vary significantly, which could affect the results.
However, they suggest that any running is better than nothing: "Increased running participation rates, regardless of their dosage, are likely to lead to significant improvements in population health and longevity."
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