Peter Schnohr and his colleagues at the Bispebjerg University Hospital in Denmark analyzed a subset of data compiled from the Copenhagen City Heart Study comparing the mortality of 1,116 male and 762 female joggers to the nonjoggers in the main study population. All participants were asked to answer questions about the amount of time they spent jogging each week and to rate their own perceptions of pace, defined as slow, average, and fast.
The first data was collected between 1976 to 1978, the second from 1981 to 1983, the third from 1991 to 1994 and the fourth from 2001 to 2003. Participants from all the different data collections were followed using a unique personal identification number in the Danish Central Person Register. The results showed that in the follow-up period involving a maximum of 35 years, 10,158 deaths were registered among the nonjoggers and 122 among the joggers.
Analysis showed that risk of death was reduced by 44 percent for male joggers and 44 percent for female joggers, both with age-adjusted hazard ratios of 0.56. Furthermore, jogging produced an age-adjusted survival benefit of 6.2 years in men and 5.6 years in women. The investigators found that jogging between one and 2 1/2 hours a week, undertaken over two to three sessions, delivered the optimum benefits, especially when performed at a slow or average pace.
—Dr. Bob Goldman
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