Governmental guidelines say that you should take 150 minutes of exercise each week in order to stave off all sorts of bad things, from obesity to heart disease.
However, research reported this week says that in fact just 15 minutes of exercise per day (105 minutes per week) can increase your life expectancy by three whole years and reduce the risk of death by 14%.
The research was based on a long-term study (over eight years) that found that people who did 15 minutes of low-level activity were 14% less likely to die early when compared with people who did no activity.
Those people who did medium-level activity (e.g. jogging) reduced their mortality risk by 20%; those who did very high levels of activity during the week had 35% lower mortality rates compared to those who did no physical activity.
Government recommendations still stand, though, but at least you could console yourself with the fact that doing even a little bit of exercise every day will improve your overall health. Starting at just 15 minutes per day of low-level activity might be a good way of increasing to the recommended levels of two and a half hours per week of moderate activity.