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Household chores lower your heart attack risk

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You may resent doing the dishes, but simple household chores could be helping you live longer.

People who are active around the house for four hours every day are 62 percent less likely to suffer a fatal heart attack, and they also have a 43 percent reduced risk of heart disease, compared to someone who is less active.

Most things you do around the home count, from simple housework, gardening, cooking—and even taking a shower or getting dressed in the morning.  The important thing is that the activities when you’re on your feet add up to four hours of activity every day, and this can be every bit as beneficial as more strenuous activities, such as running or brisk walking, say researchers from the University of California at San Diego.

They measured the daily activity levels of 5,416 healthy women aged between 63 and 97 and discovered those who were active every day doing household chores were less likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease or stroke.  

The health benefits seem to kick in after four hours of simple activity, and those who were on their feet for just half that time didn’t reduce their heart risk.

Research has usually focused on more obvious exercise, such as jogging or cycling, but household chores can be just as good for the heart.  

(Source: Journal of the American Heart Association, 2022; doi: 10.1161/JAHA.121.023433)

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