Slow jogging for as little as an hour a week increases life expectancy by five years in women and six years in men, a new study has found.
The Copenhagen City Heart Study observed 20,000 people over nearly 40 years and found that gentle jogging increased longevity more than running or other more vigorous forms of exercise.
Researchers from the Bispebjerg University Hospital in Copenhagen compared the longevity of 20,000 Danish people aged 20 to 93 from 1976 until 2011.
The study group included 1116 male joggers and 762 female joggers, who were asked to rate the speed and frequency of their exercise.
Researchers then tracked their health over the next four decades and found that people who jogged at a "slow or average" pace for between 60 minutes and 2.5 hours a week were less likely to die than those who exercised more or not at all.
Male joggers lived an average of 6.2 years longer and female joggers lived an extra 5.6 years.
"We can say with certainty that regular jogging increases longevity," study leader Peter Schnohr said. "The good news is that you don't actually need to do that much to reap the benefits."
"Mortality is lower in people reporting moderate jogging, than in non-joggers or those undertaking extreme levels of exercise. You should aim to feel a little breathless, but not very breathless."
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