Running Lowers Risk Of Death by 27%

Including risks of cancer and heart diseases

female athlete running

female athlete running

If more of us took up running, our nation would enjoy substantial improvements in health and longevity, say researchers in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Even small ‘doses’ of running—for example, once weekly or less, lasting less than 50 minutes each time, and at a speed below 6 miles (8 km) an hour, running still seemed to be associated with significant health/longevity benefits.

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The conclusion stems from an analysis of 14 studies, involving 232,149 people, whose health had been tracked for between 5.5 and 35 years. During this time, 25,951 of the study participants died.

When the study data were pooled, any amount of running was associated with a 27% lower risk of death from all causes for both sexes, compared with no running.

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And it was associated with a 30% lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease, and a 23% lower risk of death from cancer.

Increasing ‘the dose’ wasn't associated with a further lowering of the risk of death from any cause, the analysis showed.

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This is an observational study, and as such, can’t establish cause. Nontheless, “Increased rates of participation in running, regardless of its dose, would probably lead to substantial improvements in population health and longevity.”

Referencesi Zeljko Pedisic, Nipun Shrestha, Stephanie Kovalchik, Emmanuel Stamatakis, Nucharapon Liangruenrom, Jozo Grgic, Sylvia Titze, Stuart JH Biddle, Adrian E Bauman, Pekka Oja. 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. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 2019; bjsports-2018-100493 DOI: 10.1136/bjsports-2018-100493
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