By: Floro Mercene
A large international study involving more than 130, 000 people from 17 countries published recently in The Lancet (general medical journal) says physical activity of any kind can prevent heart disease and death.
Even vacuuming and scrubbing the floor are both enough exercise to protect your heart and extend your life, the study says. Scientists found any activity good for people to meet the current guideline of 30 minutes of activity a day, or 150 minutes a week, reduced the risk of death from any cause by 28 percent and rates of heart disease by a fifth. It was not necessary to run, swim, or work out in the gym, said the researchers. Almost 40 percent of highly active participants benefited from commuting, having a physical job, or domestic chores.
Dr. Scott Lear, principal investigator said: “Although previous research from high income countries shows leisure time activity helps prevent heart disease and death, by including low and middle-income countries in this study, we were able to determine the benefit of activities such as active commuting, having an active job or even doing housework.” He added that one in four people worldwide do not meet the current activity guideline. “Going to the gym is great, but we only have so much time we can spend there. If we can walk to work, or at lunch time, that will help too.”
The study found that if everyone was active for at least 150 minutes per week, 8 percent of global deaths over seven years would be prevented. It also showed there appeared to be no ceiling to the health benefits of taking exercise.
People who did more than 150 minutes of brisk walking per week reduced their risk of death by 36 percent. Weaving physical activity into our daily routines is important while our living is becoming increasingly busy with often sedentary lives.