Comparing those with a sedentary lifestyle to the top exercise performers, he said, the risk associated with death is "500% higher".
He said that people should take not exercising or being unfit to be as strong a risk factor for ill health as hypertension, diabetes and smoking - if not stronger than all of them. It found that any level of cardiovascular fitness-including the kind you'd see from elite athletes-is linked to staying alive longer. Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States.
Cleveland Clinic researchers have found that better cardiorespiratory fitness leads to longer life, with no limit to the benefit of aerobic fitness.
Where previous research suggested that overdoing it can increase the risk of death, this study claims that this is not the case - to the point that the senior author of the paper said that there is "no level of exercise or fitness that exposes you to risk". Those who got minimal exercise also had a 390 percent raised risk of death, they noted compared to those who regularly exercised.
The benefits of exercise were seen across all ages in both men and women.
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It is important to note that the study analyzed findings over a large population, and individual patients should always check with their healthcare provider before starting an exercise program. In fact, a past study has even shown that simply replacing 30 minutes of sedentary time with 30 minutes of housework can benefit health, while another revealed that replacing 6 hours of sitting with 6 hours of standing can even help with weight loss. Diabetes and heart disease, obviously not great, either. Those that did not perform very well on the treadmill testing were found to have had nearly double the risk of people with kidney failure on dialysis.
The authors write, "Cardiorespiratory fitness is inversely associated with long-term mortality with no observed upper limit of benefit".
Western lifestyles have become increasingly more unhealthy and sedentary leading to higher incidence of heart disease, studies show that this is modifiable and reversible with being physically active and exercise.
Dr. Satjit Bhusri, a cardiologist at Lenox Hill Hospital, who was not involved in the study, said this reinforces what we know.
American experts urge to demand from doctors a "prescription" for exercise. But that isn't to say that exercise is only for people who are hoping to run a marathon.