Background Whether national physical activity recommendations are related to mortality benefit is incompletely understood.
Methods .... examined physical activity guidelines in relation to mortality among women and men aged 50 to 71 years.
Results .... During follow up 7900 participants died. Compared with being inactive, achievement of activity levels that approximate the recommendations for moderate activity (at least 30 minutes on most days of the week) or vigorous exercise (at least 20 minutes 3 times per week) was associated with a 27% and 32% decreased mortality risk, respectively. Physical activity reflective of meeting both recommendations was related to substantially decreased mortality risk overall. Engaging in physical activity at less than recommended levels was also related to reduced mortality risk.Conclusions Following physical activity guidelines is associated with lower risk of death. Mortality benefit may also be achieved by engaging in less than recommended activity levels.