orthopedics, sports medicine

Running can prolong your life, study finds

Good news for all you runners out there.

A headline on a recent New York Times article says: “An Hour of Running May Add 7 Hours to Your Life.’’

The headline was referring to a study which found running may be the most effective exercise to increase life expectancy. The study found that, compared to nonrunners, runners tended to live about three additional years, even if they run slowly or sporadically and smoke, drink or are overweight. No other form of exercise that researchers examined showed comparable impacts on life span.

The findings come as a follow-up to a study done three years ago, in which a group of exercise scientists scrutinized data from a large trove of medical and fitness tests conducted at the Cooper Institute in Dallas. That analysis found that as little as five minutes of daily running was associated with prolonged life spans.

At Signature Medical Group, we’re supportive of runners. Our sports medicine and orthopedic experts do our best to keep you on the move.

If you come up with an injury to a leg, ankle, foot or even a pulled muscle, we’re here to treat it. You often can see us the same day you make an appointment and we offer convenient hours at night at on weekends.

The data in the study found that running, whatever someone’s pace or mileage, dropped a person’s risk of premature death by almost 40 percent, a benefit that held true even when the researchers controlled for smoking, drinking and a history of health problems such as hypertension or obesity.

Using those numbers, the scientists determined that if every nonrunner who had been part of the study groups took up the sport, there would have been 16 percent fewer deaths overall, and 25 percent fewer fatal heart attacks.  But the research is a bit incomplete in that participants in those groups were mostly white and middle class.

The researchers calculated that, hour for hour, running returns more time to people’s lives than it consumes. An hour of running statistically lengthens life expectancy by seven hours, the researchers report.

At Signature Medical Group, we’re happy to hear that running is mostly beneficial. That’s why we don’t want injuries to get in your way.

If you’re hobbled a bit, or even if you have questions about how to get started on a running regimen, our sports medicine experts are here to help. Make an appointment today to see us and we’ll keep you on the move.