08 Oct Is Exercise Intensity Related to Longevity?
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Professor and Head of CERG and K.G. Jebsen Centre for Exercise in Medicine
of Circulation and Medical Imaging, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
NTNU-Norwegian University of Science and Technology
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: The Generation 100 study followed more than 1500 women and men in their 70s for five years. The aim was to find out if exercise gives older adults a longer and healthier life, and we also compare the effect of moderate and high-intensity exercise.
MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?
Response: Overall survival was high in all three groups, compared to what’s expected in this age group. There was a clear trend towards greater survival in the high-intensity compared to the moderate intensity exercise group. High-intensity interval training also had the greatest effect on cardiorespiratory fitness and health-related quality of life.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: Although the mortality difference was not statistically significant, our results should encourage health authorities worldwide to recommend high-intensity exercise for older adults, at least as a supplement to other types of exercise.
Even the control group maintained a high level of physical activity throughout the study period. Actually, more participants in this group exercised with high intensity compared to the moderate exercise group. The regular fitness and health check-ups could have motivated the control group to regular exercise, and thus be a beneficial socioeconomical and individual tool to reduce healthcare costs and improve health quality among older adults worldwide.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
Response: We still need to examine if exercise intensity is related to mortality. Our data indicate that high-intensity exercise lowers mortality risk compared to moderate intensity exercise, and this needs to be further examined. We will follow the participants for five more years, and hopefully these data will give us a clear answer if exercise intensity is important for longevity.
Effect of exercise training for five years on all cause mortality in older adults—the Generation 100 study: randomised controlled trial
BMJ 2020; 371 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m3485 (Published 07 October 2020)Cite this as: BMJ 2020;371:m3485
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