Activities that were assessed included walking, jogging, running, bicycling, swimming, rowing, stair-climbing, and playing tennis, squash, racquetball and/or golf. Weight-lifting and arduous outdoor work were also included in the analysis, and all activities were given a so-called "metabolic equivalent task" ranking, or MET value, according to the amount of energy each required relative to being sedentary.
After giving non-vigorous activities a MET ranking of less than 6 and vigorous activities a value of 6 and up, the authors determined how many MET hours per week were expended by each patient based on the nature and pace of each activity they engaged in.
Ultimately, 548 of the patients died during the study period, one-fifth as a direct result of their prostate cancer diagnosis. But the research team found that the more active patients had been, the lower their risk of dying from prostate cancer itself or any other cause.
The more hours the patients devoted to either vigorous or non-vigorous exercise routines, the better they fared in terms of survival. For example, men who tallied as much as nine or more MET hours per week -- equivalent to jogging, biking, swimming or playing tennis for 90 minutes per week -- had a 33 percent lower risk for dying from any cause and a 35 percent lower risk for dying from prostate cancer than men who expended less than nine MET hours per week.
Vigorous activity, however, seemed to confer a stronger survival benefit than non-vigorous activity. Compared with men who participated in vigorous exercise (such as biking, tennis, jogging, running, and/or swimming) for less than one hour per week, those who engaged in three hours or more had a nearly 50 percent drop in death risk due to any cause and a 61 percent drop in the risk of dying specifically from prostate cancer. In fact,
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