NEW YORK POST Updated: Tue., Sep. 15, 2009, 5:39 AM

Exercise a lifesaver even in your 80s

Last Updated: 5:39 AM, September 15, 2009

Posted: 4:44 AM, September 15, 2009

Sensei Wolff - 83CHICAGO -- A little physical activity goes a long way toward extending life by at least a few years for people in their mid- to late 80s, researchers have found.

The 3-year survival rate for active 85-year-olds was about three times higher than for those less active.

This "supports the continued encouragement of physical activity, even among the oldest old. Indeed, it seems it is never too late to start," says the report in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

"As little as four hours a week was as beneficial as more . . . prolonged activity," said study author Dr. Jeremy Jacobs, of Hadassah Hebrew University Medical Center in Jerusalem.

Active octogenarians were also found to be less depressed and lonely and better at daily tasks.

The study involved 1,861 Jerusalem residents who were 70 in 1990.