Just 15 minutes of exercise each day may be all you need to live longer.
For years, people have been told that 30 minutes of exercise was the magic number. But new evidence suggests that being physically active for half that time still reaps significant health benefits.
Researchers at the National Health Research Institutes in Taiwan found that those who exercise just 15 minutes a day extend their life expectancy by three years compared to those who don't exercise.
Both men and women benefited equally from the minimum activity.
This "may convince many individuals that they are able to incorporate physical activity into their busy lives," Dr. Anil Nigam of the University of Montreal said in an e-mail to the Associated Press.
Nigam had no role in the research but wrote an editorial accompanying the Taiwan study published online Monday in The Lancet.
Doctors hope the new finding encourages people to incorporate more physical activity in their lives.
For the sedentary, the key is this: Some exercise is better than none.
"Get off the couch and start moving," said I-Min Lee of the Harvard School of Public Health.