European and Australian researchers studied data from 80,000 people about activity levels between 1994 and 2008. The average age of most surveyed was 52, and most didn't do much exercise.
RELATED: The most unusual sports around the world
The most unusual sports around the world
The most unusual sports around the world
Aleksander Pihlainen and Siiri Salli from Finland compete during the Wife Carrying World Championships in Sonkajarvi, Finland on July 6, 2013. AFP PHOTO / LEHTIKUVA / RONI REKOMAA +++ FINLAND OUT (Photo credit should read Roni Rekomaa/AFP/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 10: Bryan Woon and Sean Mooney in action during the first ever Battle Royale chessboxing event held at Royal Albert Hall on October 10, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Christie Goodwin/WireImage)
MYRTLE BEACH, SC - APRIL 05: A member of the University of Sydney in action against McGill University during the Quidditch World Cup on April 5, 2014 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The sport, created from the Harry Potter novels is a co-ed contact sport with elements from rugby, basketball, and dodgeball. A quidditch team is made up of seven athletes who play with broomsticks between their legs at all times. (Photo by Richard Ellis/Getty Images)
Speed skateboard rider competes during 'Speed Days' the UK's only World Cup downhill championships for street luge, skateboarders, classic luge and gravity bikes, held at Beachy Head, Eastbourne, UK. 22/08/2009. (Photo by: PYMCA/UIG via Getty Images)
MEUNSING, GERMANY - AUGUST 29: Jockeys attempt to reach the finish on on their oxen during the 3rd Muensing Ox Race August 29, 2004 in Muensing, Germany. Approximately 20 contestants from across Bavaria partook in the races, which occur only once every four years. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
JAWA TIMUR, INDONESIA - 2016/06/21: Some students playing fire football at an Islamic boarding school called Salafiyah Syafiiyah. Fire Football is a soccer game using a fireball made from a coconut from a palm tree soaked in kerosene.The game was held after the students have completed reading the Qur'an in the holy month of Ramadan. (Photo by Luhur Wahyu Wijaya/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
BOURTON-ON-THE-WATER, ENGLAND - AUGUST 30: Bourton Rovers First XI (in red) challenge Bourton Rovers Second XI goal during the Bourton-on-the-Water Football Match played in the River Windrush on August 30, 2010 in Bourton-on-the-Water, England. (Photo by Hamish Blair/Getty Images)
LIAOCHENG, CHINA - MAY 22: (CHINA OUT) Students use their painted fingers to play kick soccer during a competition at Liaocheng University on May 22, 2016 in Liaocheng, Shandong Province of China. Eight Chinese students and two foreign students majored in sport painted their fingers as soccer players and played the soccer game with fingers at Liaocheng University. (Photo by VCG/VCG via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - MARCH 1: Maija Eliashevsky (left), with Fully Touqued, sets up to shoot between her wheels as Lewis Ciddor, with Ace of Slaves, keeps an eye on the ball, during a bike polo match at the Great Lakes Winter Classic, being held at the Toronto International Bicycle Show. Ace of Slaves won the match 5-3. The finals will be March 2. Bike polo is played around the world by roughly 22,000 enthusiasts, 2/3rd's of which are in Canada and United States. March 1, 2014. (Bernard Weil/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
People are seen running on high heels during a competition in Myslecinek Park Bydgoszcz, Poland on 27 August 2016. (Photo by Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Youth are seen practising kajak polo on the Brda river in Bydgoszcz, Poland, on September 7 2016. (Photo by Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
LUOYANG, CHINA - JANUARY 17: (CHINA OUT) Yoga fans practice in a hot spring on January 17, 2016 in Luoyang, Henan Province of China. Nearly a hundred yoga fans performed yoga in a hot spring as the temperature dropped to 4 degrees Celsius below zero on January 17 in Luoyang. (Photo by VCG/VCG via Getty Images)
LEIPZIG, GERMANY - AUGUST 06: Contestants compete during the 8th mud soccer championship on August 6, 2016 in Woellnau near Leipzig, Germany. Legend has it that a Finnish officer sent his soldiers to the bog for condition runs. To increase the fun factor, one day he kicked a ball onto the marsh and mud football was born. The championships have been held since 1998 and in 2000 a World Championships with international teams was created. (Photo by Jens Schlueter/Getty Images)
BAISE, CHINA - APRIL 14: (CHINA OUT) Two men wrestle in a cherry tomatoes pool during the Buluotuo Culture Festival on April 14, 2016 in Tianyang County, Baise City, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of China. A wrestling match was held on the surplus and cracked cherry tomatoes inside a 30-centimeter-tall pool with the diameter of 8 meters to celebrate the harvest of tomatoes during the Buluotuo Culture Festival in Tianyang. (Photo by VCG/VCG via Getty Images)
TIANJIN, CHINA - DECEMBER 17: (CHINA OUT) A member of the National Pole Dancing Team trains for the World Championships in a park on December 17, 2013 in Tianjin, China. The National Pole Dancing Team is preparing for the 2014 London Pole Dancing World Championships. (Photo by VCG/VCG via Getty Images)
CHONGQING, CHINA - JULY 17: Women dive into the water to play mahjong at a sports park on July 17, 2016 in Chongqing, China. The swimming pool attracted people in the hot summer days in Chongqing. (Photo by VCG/VCG via Getty Images)
A competitor in the first Extreme Ironing Championship irons a shirt on
a surfboard on a small river in the Bavarian village of Valley near
Holzkirchen on September 21, 2002. The championships aim to combine an
outdoor activity and the art of ironing. REUTERS/Miro Kuzmanovic
Discover More Like This
BACK TO SLIDE
Only 44 percent of people met physical activity recommendations. For reference, that's about 150 minutes of moderate activity a week.
Racquet sports like tennis kept people the healthiest. They had a 47 percent lower risk of dying over the nine years after they were first surveyed.
This is compared to folks who didn't exercise at all.
Swimmers had a 28 percent lower risk of death, and those doing aerobics had a 27 percent lower risk of dying.
It is important to note the lead study author says the results aren't meant to endorse one activity over another. He says all exercise is good, as long as it's making you more active than you were before.