Running is a popular leisure-time activity, but little is known about the long-term effects of running on mortality. The World Health Organization and the U.S. Government have released guidelines recommending at least 75 minutes of high-intensity or 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week. [1,2]

The Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study was conducted to examine the effects of physical activity and fitness on health outcomes. The study participants were men and women between 18 and 100 years of age. [3] Conclusions from this study and others found there are long-term benefits of leisure-time running. The study also showed that running reduces cardiovascular mortality by 29%, compared to those who never run. What’s more, this information further shows that running even at only 5 to 10 minutes a day is sufficient for mortality benefits.

When it comes to staying physically active, every step counts towards helping maintain a healthier heart. Breaking down running or any exercise into 10-minute rounds makes the goal more achievable. Hopefully, this will motivate healthy but sedentary individuals to begin running to obtain substantial and attainable mortality benefits.

  1. Global Recommendations on Physical Activity for Health. World Health Organization. Available at: Accessed December 1, 2013.
  2. Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Available at: Accessed December 1, 2013.
  3. Blair S.N., Kannel W.B., Kohl al. : “Surrogate measures of physical activity and physical fitness. Evidence for sedentary traits of resting tachycardia, obesity, and low vital capacity”. Am J Epidemiol1989; 129: 1145.