Doing This For 3 Minutes A Day May Help You Live Longer


For this study, researchers from Australia and Europe analyzed data from the UK Biobank on 25,241 people who considered themselves “nonexercisers,” meaning they did not make exercise part of their regular routines. The mean age of the participants was 61.8 years and the researchers followed the study group for nearly seven years. The results showed that during the study period, about 852 participants died (511 died from cancer and 266 from cardiovascular disease). 

When researchers analyzed activity trends among the participants, they noted that participants who racked up three very short sessions of vigorous physical activity daily had a significantly lower risk of death. The results showed that those who performed three one-minute stints of vigorous activity each day had a 39% lower risk of death from any cause compared to those who did not do these bursts of activity. More specifically, they had a 49% lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease and a 30% lower risk of death from cancer.

Those who went a step further and completed 11 minutes of short bursts of exercise daily had a 65% lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease and a 49% lower risk of death from cancer.

As for what counts as a short burst of exercise, study co-author and professor of sport and exercise medicine at University College London Mark Hamer, Ph.D. tells The Guardian, “This could be things like playing with children. It could be [that] you see your bus just about to leave so you have to walk extremely quickly to get the bus. It may be that you live in a block of flats and you have to carry that shopping up a flight of stairs.”

We can add this to the growing body of evidence showing that we don’t have to train for a marathon to reap the benefits of exercise. Shorter movements, when done frequently, can also minimize inactivity and have a positive effect on our strength and overall mortality risk as we get older.


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