RISK of fatal cardiovascular disease can be reduced by almost a quarter by replacing sedentary behaviour with 30 minutes of low-intensity physical activity per day, according to an analysis from the Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. The study suggests that there are bigger health benefits to everyday activities such as standing, walking, or doing household chores than previously believed.
Reduced Risk of Death
Using data from the ABC (Attitude, Behaviour, and Change) study, the researchers analysed activity levels, measured using motion trackers in 1,200 people over a 15-year period, and compared these with information from Swedish registries about deaths and causes of death. As well as finding that low-intensity exercise, in addition to moderate or intense physical activity, had considerable general health benefits, the team were able to estimate that replacing half an hour’s sedentariness a day with low-level activities like household chores reduced the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease by 24%.
Replacing sedentary behaviour with moderate-to-intense physical activity was calculated to reduce this risk by an even greater amount: 10 minutes reduced the chances of dying of cardiovascular disease by 38%, and 30 minutes by 77%. The study adjusted for other confounding factors such as age, sex, and smoking habits.
“This is a unique study, since we’ve been able to analyse a large number of people with objective measures of physical activity for up to 15 years,” commented study leader Dr Maria Hagströmer, Karolinska Institutet. “Previous studies asked participants about levels of physical activity, but this can lead to reporting error since it’s hard to remember exactly for how long one has been sitting and moving around.”
The findings provide fresh evidence of the benefits low-intensity activity can have on health. With cardiovascular disease being a major problem around the world, this information could provide the basis for new guidelines and advice that ultimately reduces the number of deaths from the condition.
James Coker, Reporter
For the source and further information about the study, click here.