It was a much ballyhooed study that took the media by storm for a day. As little as 15 minutes a day of exercise can add an average of 3 years of extra life.
You could tell the media was proud of itself for this one. Information was going to add life expectancy to nearly everyone. After all, 15 minutes a day of exercise was such a small hurdle to overcome. All that was left to do was to thank everyone all around. Thank you study scientists. Thank you fitness gurus who try to get us moving. Thank you media who spread the new health mantra.
The only thing that stands between this study and success are couch potatoes and math. Full disclosure: I’m a couch potato.
What do couch potatoes have to doubt? This study was reputable and transmitted properly.
Alright, let’s get to the math. 15 minutes is ¼ of an hour. There are only 16 waking hours of the day. 15 minutes is 1/64th of the useful time you have.
The average life expectancy is about 75 years. Doing the daily 15 minutes of exercise will amount to 75 years times 1/64th which is 75/64. This works out to about 1.2 years of solid exercise.
So with my couch potato math skills I can tell you that to gain 1.8 years of possibly good living (it could also possibly be bad), it takes 1.2 years of hard, nose to the grindstone, work.
It’s not so good when couched in those terms.
So leave me alone, health nuts, It’s time to watch some good old fashioned television.