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Know More: Even A Little More Activity Can Save Millions Of Lives

Friday, October 13, 2017

A new study reiterates what others have been saying all along about the benefits of physical activity. Anindra Siqueira tells you more

Researchers at the Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada, estimate that even a little physical activity — as little as 30 minutes’ worth each day — could prevent millions of early deaths and cases of heart disease worldwide. The conventional knowledge, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), is that people between 18 and 64 years of age should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity every week. This amounts to about 30 minutes every day.

In the new study, which is published in The Lancet, the researchers analysed survey responses of over 130,000 people from 17 different countries who were between the ages of 35 and 70. Participants were asked how much physical activity they engaged in, and then they were followed for almost seven years.

The study authors conclude that 1 in every 20 cases of heart disease and 1 in 12 premature deaths may have been prevented if the WHO’s guidelines for physical activity were followed. And, according to the authors, more physical activity had even greater benefits. In fact, the study concluded that 13% of early deaths and approximately 10% of heart disease cases could be prevented if everyone involved in the study exercised for more than 750 minutes each week.

“The affordability of other cardiovascular disease interventions, such as generic drugs and consuming fruits and vegetables, are often beyond the reach of many people in low-income and middle-income countries,” said study lead author Scott Lear, in a journal news release.

Walking for half an hour a day and even engaging in household chores, it is suggested, can help with daily physical activity requirements.

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