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Once again, research results finding that some daily physical activity (here 30 minutes 6 days a week) is linked to a lower risk of death (here 40% lower risk from any cause for elderly men). The researchers said the increased physical activity levels was as good for health as giving up smoking, and the men who regularly engaged in moderate to vigorous activity lived on average 5 years longer then sedentary men. In this study the men had been observed over a 12 year period. From Science Daily:

Half hour of physical activity 6 days a week linked to 40 percent lower risk of early death

Thirty minutes of physical activity -- irrespective of its intensity -- six days a week is linked to a 40 percent lower risk of death from any cause among elderly men, finds new research. Boosting physical activity levels in this age group seems to be as good for health as giving up smoking, the findings suggest.

The researchers base their findings on people taking part in the Oslo Study, which invited almost 26,000 men born between 1923 and 1932 for a health check in 1972-3 (Oslo I).Some 15,000 agreed....These were categorised as sedentary (watching TV/reading); light (walking or cycling, including to and from work for at least 4 hours a week); moderate (formal exercise, sporting activities, heavy gardening for at least 4 hours a week); and vigorous (hard training or competitive sports several times a week).

Some 6000 of the surviving men repeated the process in 2000 (Oslo II) and were monitored for almost 12 years to see if physical activity level over time was associated with a lowered risk of death from cardiovascular disease, or any cause, and if its impact were equivalent to quitting smoking.During the monitoring period, 2154 out of the 5738 men who had gone through both health checks died.

The analysis indicated that less than an hour a week of light physical activity was not associated with any meaningful reduction in risk of death from any cause. But more than an hour was linked to a 32% to 56% lower risk.

Less than an hour of vigorous physical activity, on the other hand, was linked to a reduction in risk of between 23% and 37% for cardiovascular disease and death from any cause.The more time spent doing vigorous exercise the lower the risk seemed to be, falling by between 36% and 49%.And men who regularly engaged in moderate to vigorous physical activity during their leisure time lived five years longer, on average, than those who were classified as sedentary.

It is important to identify protective factors as well as risk factors for cataracts because cataract surgery is the only treatment for cataracts. Cataracts are a medical condition resulting in clouding of the normally clear lens of the eye, which results in blurred vision. From Medscape:

Physical Activity May Reduce Cataract Risk

High levels of total and long-term physical activity, as well as specific types of physical activity, may decrease the risk for age-related cataract later in life, researchers report in an article published in the February issue of Ophthalmology. Of 52,660 men and women 45 to 83 years of age who completed questionnaires to assess physical activity as part of two large population-based cohorts, 11,580 developed age-related cataract during a 12-year follow-up period...

Participants with the highest quartile of physical activity had a 13% decreased risk of developing cataracts relative to those with the lowest levels of physical activity, after adjustments for multiple factors including fruit and vegetable intake, antioxidant supplement use, and alcohol intake ...In addition, increased amounts of long-term total physical activity both at 30 years of age and at the beginning of the study (mean age, 59.4 years) decreased the risk for cataract by 24% compared with low levels of activity, according to the researchers .

When the investigators looked at specific activities, they found that walking or bicycling 60 minutes per day or more decreased the risk for cataract by 12% compared with hardly ever walking or bicycling, and work or occupational activity requiring heavy manual labor decreased the risk for cataract by 16% compared with mostly sedentary occupations. Compared with individuals reporting less than 1 hour of leisure time inactivity per day, those who were physically inactive for 6 or more hours of leisure time daily were 27% more likely to develop age-related cataract, they write.

"Our results on different types of physical activity suggest that being physically active on a regular daily basis may contribute to decreased risk of cataract, rather than short weekly episodes of exercising/training," Selin explained in an interview with Medscape Medical News.

Keep in mind that statin use is linked to increased risk of cataracts. From Science Daily:

New study strengthens evidence of connection between statin use and cataracts; any risks should be weighed against benefits