Boosting physical activity levels among the seniors seems to be as good for health as giving up smoking, the findings suggest.
Based on the analysis of 15,000 men, it indicated that less than an hour a week of light physical activity was not associated with any meaningful reduction in risk of death from any cause.
But more than an hour was linked to a 32 percent to 56 percent lower risk.
Less than an hour of vigorous physical activity, on the other hand, was linked to a reduction in risk of between 23 percent and 37 percent for cardiovascular disease and death from any cause.
The more time spent doing vigorous exercise the lower the risk seemed to be, falling by between 36 percent and 49 percent.
“Men who are regularly engaged in moderate to vigorous physical activity during their leisure time lived five years longer, on average, than those who were classified as sedentary (watching TV or reading),” the authors wrote.
More effort should go into encouraging elderly men to become more physically active, the researchers emphasised in the paper appeared in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.