Are we doing enough to promote the positive benefits of exercise? University of Cambridge researchers in England examined information from 168 countries to find data supporting the advantages of healthy behaviors, including being physically active. The scientists found that, globally, the number of premature deaths was 15% lower than it would have been without physical activity. That equals approximately 3.9 million lives per year saved from an early death.

“We can tell a good news story of what is already being achieved,” said lead study author Tessa Strain, PhD, an epidemiologist at the University of Cambridge. “It tells how much good is being done and helps us say, ‘Look how much benefit physical activity is already providing—let’s make things even better by increasing physical activity levels further.’”

The study is available in The Lancet Global Health (2020; 8 [7], E920–30).