Short bouts of physical activity can go a long way to helping you live longer, according to researchers.

Published in Nature Medicine, a recent study affirms the benefits of even minimal but intense exercise in extending one’s lifespan.

Since vigorous movement performed for as little as three minutes per day was found to lower premature death in adults by 40%, the study offers hope to people who hate going to the gym but still want to obtain some of the benefits of physical activity.

The Dallas Express previously reported on two papers that drew similar conclusions.

Ulrik Wisloff, the director of the K.G. Jebsen Center for Exercise in Medicine at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim and an expert in activity and longevity, called the latest findings “fantastic.”

While the linkage between physical activity and longevity is not new, researchers have increasingly focused on understanding the contribution of more intense movement, identifying the health benefits that occur when heart rate and breathing are sufficiently raised.

The latest study’s authors decided to focus on the effects of non-exercise activities, like rushing up a flight of stairs on the way into the office. Specifically, they wanted to confirm whether adding more intensity to these non-exercise events could net material benefits.

The study analyzed health records stored at the UK Biobank, a repository containing data on hundreds of thousands of British men and women. Over 25,000 records of people aged 40 to 69 who indicated they never exercised were analyzed for the study.

Most people wore an accelerometer for a week upon joining the databank, providing the authors with insight on the daily movement of thousands of individuals.

Daily schedules were dissected in detail, allowing the authors to understand precisely how intense a person’s movements were at any given moment of the day.

The analysis was so resource-intensive that it took three continuous months of computer processing to complete, according to Emmanuel Stamatakis, the study’s lead author and a professor of physical activity and health studies at the University of Sydney in Australia.

Activity patterns were then compared against instances of mortality over the subsequent seven years. The researchers found that people who averaged just 4.4 minutes a day of what the researchers called “vigorous intermittent lifestyle physical activity,” like rushing to chase a bus, were roughly 30% less likely to have died during the timeframe compared to other people that rarely moved quickly.

As previously reported in The Dallas Express, even walking regularly positively impacts longevity. However, more physical activity and proper dieting are usually necessary to stave off weight gain and reverse obesity, a disease that has increased in recent years in North Texas and across the country.

In any case, three different spurts of intense movement spread throughout the day, each lasting as little as one minute, dropped mortality risk by an impressive 40% versus the peer group that did not engage in rushed movement, according to the study.

The researchers performed a subsequent analysis of over 62,000 adults who exercised, but typically at a moderate pace. This group also experienced a reduction in mortality when a few minutes of intense activity was included most days — whether during a workout or otherwise.

Stamatakis suggests periodically moving hard and fast three to four times per day for one to two minutes to help lower the chances of premature death.