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Least amount of exercise a day? Around two minutes

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When it comes to exercise, what’s the least amount we can get away but still see some health benefits?

According to researchers, around two minutes of vigorous physical activity every day could be enough to reduce your chances of heart disease and cancer and may even help you live longer.

It’s not a big benefit: exercising for between 15 and 20 minutes a week could reduce your chances of a premature death by around 18 percent, and your risk of heart disease by 16 percent.

Sounds good?   Yes, it’s certainly better than being a couch potato; in fact, compared to someone who never exercises, just two minutes of activity every day will halve your risk of an early death.  It falls to just 2 percent for people aged 62 or so—the average age of the study group—but the risk of a premature death for the inactive isn’t very high anyway, at just 4 percent.

But in an age when everyone is time-poor, it’s useful to know that minimal activity can still be beneficial, said lead researcher Matthew Ahmadi from the University of Sydney. 

European Heart Journal, 2022; doi: 10.1093/eurheart/ehac572

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