Section for epidemiology and medical statistics

Physical activity is independently associated with reduced mortality: 15-years follow-up of the Hordaland Health Study (HUSK)

A new study from the University of Bergen shows that adults from Hordaland that are physically active are at lower risk of dying than others – and that the level of physical activity required for a protective effects is surprisingly low.

old man walking.
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The study was conducted by Øyvind Kopperstad, Jens Christoffer Skogen, Børge Sivertsen, Grethe S. Tell and Solbjørg Makalani Myrtveit Sæther, and is based on data from The Hordaland Health Studies (HUSK) and the Norwegian Cause of Death Registry. We followed more than 20000 adults from Hordaland who participated in HUSK in 1997-1999 until they died or to the end of the study (31th of December 2012).

We found that individuals who were physically active had a 22% lower risk of dying from cardio-vascular disorders and 55% lower risk of dying from respiratory disorders than others. Especially among older individuals, those who were 70-74 when participating in HUSK, the risk of dying was lower among those who were active. Being active for as little as about one hour a week was associated with reduced risk of dying.