Monday, June 15, 2015


I was just reading an article in New Scientist about how much various things statistically affect your lifespan, measured in half-hour increments called microlives. For example two cigarettes loses you a microlife.

It said that exercising for 20 minutes gains you one microlife. That applies to the first time each day, after that you have to exercise for another 40 minutes to earn another microlife. [Edit: men get another microlife after 40 mins, women only get half a microlife for 40 mins - ie 15 mins extra life.]The implication is that this is a good thing. But what they've just told me is that I "spend" an hour of my day exercising, then I "earn back" an hour of life. The hour I just wasted? I might as well not bother.

If you enjoy exercise, then yay you'll live longer overall and you don't really need that motivation anyway to do something you like.

If you hate exercise, then you'll live longer but only the same number of hours you've put yourself through that torture so you might as well just sit on the couch. In fact if you exercise more than half an hour a day, then you're actually earning less time than you are spending. So that deal sucks.

I'm joking, really. Sort of.

I guess the question is, would you rather spend an hour exercising, or would you rather spend that hour dead?

And if you keep it to 20 minutes a day, then you are earning back 30 minutes so you end up ahead.

And this is statistical averages, individual people will be affected more or less than others.

And exercise doesn't just affect lifespan, it affects quality of life.

And maybe if I exercise enough, I'll get to like it. Then I get the lifespan and the fun life.


  1. Well, this is something new I learned today. Might as well get on that treadmill now!

  2. Hmm. Interesting viewpoint. I look at it this way - I enjoy riding my bike to and from work or taking a walk in nature - and all of this time is "free" time, that is, it is time where I dont have to decide if I would rather read a book or so forth or the like, as I will have the same time to spend on this anyway over a lifetime! So I say bring on the exercise! (Unless it HAS to be on level of a harf run to work - then I will have to reconsider)

  3. One of my favorite motivator was Zig Zigglar. He was talking about running to lose weight and get in shape. He was paying the price. He first run to the neighbor mail box. Then he could run 2 mail box, then a whole block, then a mile, then 2. Always paying the price. One day in fall, he was running and realized he was not paying the price any more, he was enjoying his time running.