Exercise type doesn't matter, it's being active that counts

Milan Marjanovic via Getty Images

Now, scientists determined similar effects that in low income countries like India, where people were involved in non-recreational activities such as walking to work or doing household chores for the same amount of time will be able to cut down risks equally. The study's principal investigator Dr. Scott Lear said one in four people worldwide do not meet the current guideline.

A recent study concludes that 1 in every 12 global deaths could be prevented, if all of us adhered to at-least 30 minutes of exercise each day, or 2.5 hours in week.

Furthermore, the WHO now recommends that adults aged 18 to 64 years partake in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity per week; however, almost a quarter (23%) of the world's population do not meet such guidelines, according to the researchers.

Earlier studies in India have shown less than 10% of Indians do any kind of recreational physical activity.

The largest study of physical activity, tracking 130,000 people in 17 countries, found that this amount of exercise is associated with a reduced risk of death and cardiovascular disease.

As per the authors of the study, almost a quarter of the world's population do not meet this requirement.

Overall, nearly a fifth of people in the study (18%, 23631 people) did not meet the physical activity guidelines, but nearly half (44%, 57868 people) were highly active. Leisure time physical activity was common in high-income countries, but not other regions.

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Physical activity as transport, occupation or housework was the most common form of physical activity, across all regions (ranging from 437 to 574 minutes per week).

The study included participants aged 35 to 70 from urban and rural areas in rich and poor countries.

People who did more than 750 minutes of brisk walking per week reduced their risk of death by 36%.

Activities as simple as walking to work or school, using bicycle instead of a motorbike or a vehicle, and carrying out simple household chores as such cleaning could go a long way in helping you stay away from the clutches of unsafe cardiovascular diseases and could keep you younger and healthier.

However, less than 3% of participants achieved this level from leisure time activity while 38% of participants achieved this level from activities such as commuting, being active at work or doing household chores.

"The authors state that the results of the study provide robust evidence to support public health interventions to increase all forms of physical activity. This reflects the challenge of trying to be highly active during limited daily leisure time outside of work and domestic duties", says Dr Lear.

Professor Metin Avkiran, associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation (BHF), said: "In an age where we're living increasingly busy but often sedentary lives in the west, weaving physical activity into our daily routines has never been more important, not only to improve our physical health but also overall well-being".

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