Experts have assumed that these benefits can happen only when we do high-impact or aerobic exercise, but researchers at the Karolinska Institute are among the first to demonstrate that even everyday low-impact activities can have positive effects.
Getting up from your sofa for 30 minutes a day can help your heart—even if you just stand there, or do some walking or housework, they say. However, the benefits increase the more intense the activity: 10 minutes of moderate to intense activity every day, such as a brisk walk, reduces the risk of a fatal heart attack 38 per cent, and doing that for 30 minutes a day reduces the chances by 77 per cent.
The researchers base their findings on a group of 1,200 adults living in Sweden, whose health and activity levels were tracked for nearly 15 years.
Earlier studies by the Karolinska researchers discovered that people who sit for more than 10 hours a day have a 2.5 times higher risk of an early death than people who sit for less than 6.5 hours a day.