New research has revealed that elderly people who exercise regularly could live longer by at least 5 years.

The analysis of 5,700 elderly men in Norway showed those doing 3 hours of exercise a week lived around 5 years longer than the sedentary.

The findings which were published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, called for campaigns to encourage fitness in older people.

According to the trial which tracked 68 to 77 year olds, it was found that doing less than an hour a week of light exercise had no impact.

But overall those putting in the equivalent of six, 30-minute sessions of any intensity, were 40% less likely to have died during the 11-year study.

It also added that physical activity was as "beneficial as smoking cessation" at reducing deaths, saying that "public health strategies in elderly men should include efforts to increase physical activity in line with efforts to reduce smoking behaviour."