Even a little exercise can benefit health years down in life

Updated: Sep 14, 2011, 18:57 PM IST

London: Any amount of exercise can benefit us years down the road, according to a new study.

The study suggests that the perks of staying active are cumulative regardless if a person decreases his physical activity with time, reports Discovery News.

Using longitudinal data of roughly 2,400 men and women in the UK, scientists looked at their reported activity levels at the ages of 36, 43 and 53.

For each participant, scientists also gathered information about education, occupation, history of smoking, presence of other health problems and his or her weight and height.

During the survey with participants, nurses had them perform certain fitness tests, including standing up and sitting down in a chair repetitively, grip strength tests and balance measures where participants were challenged to see how long they could stand on one leg.

The researchers found that people who were moderately active, or exercised between one and four times per month, and those most active who reported exercising more than five times per month, performed significantly better than people reporting no physical activity.