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Just 15 minutes of exercise a day can extend your life

Those who claim they don't exercise because they simply don't have enough time may need to find a new excuse. A new study suggests that just 15 minutes of exercise a day can increase your life expectancy.

The research was recently published in an issue of The Lancet, and found that those who engaged in 92 minutes of physical activity a week lived three years longer than those who were inactive. The findings are especially important, WebMD.com reports, because it runs counter to the World Health Organizations recommendation of about 150 minutes of exercise per week, or 30 minutes per day.

The study focused on more than 400,000 people who participated in a screening program in Taiwan between 1996 and 2008. The subjects reported their physical activity each week and were sorted by how frequently they exercised.

Those who were in the active category enjoyed a longer lifespan for a number of different reasons. According to WebMD, the study found that they had a 10 percent lower risk of dying from cancer, and every additional 15 minutes of exercise resulted in a 4 percent lower risk.

"The knowledge that as little as 15 minutes per day of exercise on most days of the week can substantially reduce an individual’s risk of dying could encourage many more individuals to incorporate a small amount of physical activity into their busy lives," Anil Nigam and Martin Juneau of the Montreal Heart Institute and University of Montreal wrote in a commentary accompanying the findings.

The study may drastically improve the number of adults that are currently regularly exercising. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, just 35 percent of people over the age of 18 engaged in leisure-time physical activity.

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