(RxWiki News) For older women, exercising more and doing so more vigorously could lead to a reduced risk of death, according to a new study.
In fact, compared to the least active women in this study, the most active women had a 60 to 70 percent lower risk of dying during the roughly 2.5-year study period.
This research bolsters past studies that had similar findings, but this study was the first to measure physical activity and intensity using a particular wearable device and then compare those measurements to a clinical outcome.
For the purposes of this study, an example of moderate to vigorous exercise was brisk walking. Although lighter physical activity wasn't tied to a reduced risk of death, it could have other beneficial health effects, the study authors noted.
This research included nearly 17,000 older women whose average age was 72. The study participants wore the wearable device for at least 10 hours per day to measure their physical activity levels and intensity.
Overall, these researchers said their findings support current exercise recommendations.
"We hope to continue this study in the future to examine other health outcomes, and particularly to investigate the details of how much and what kinds of activity are healthful," said study author Dr. I-Min Lee, of Harvard University, in a press release. "What is irrefutable is the fact that physical activity is good for your health."
Before making any changes to your physical activity levels, ask your health care provider what types of exercise are healthy for you.
This study was published in the journal Circulation.
The National Institutes of Health funded this research. Information on potential conflicts of interest was not available at the time of publication.