Increase physical activity in everyday life instead of going to the gym
Increased physical activity in our everyday life has a positive effect on health. Even little things, like using stairs or walking to the office, seem to protect people better from heart disease and premature death than membership of a gym.
In their current investigation, scientists from Simon Fraser University’s faculty of health sciences in Vancouver found that increased physical activity could prevent one in 20 heart diseases and one in 12 premature deaths. The doctors published the results of their study in the journal "The Lancet".
Researchers are studying the data of 130,000 people for their study
For the current study, data from 130,000 people from 17 countries were compared. Among these countries were some wealthy countries such as Canada and Sweden and some far less wealthy countries, including Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.
Optimal amount of physical activity should be increased in guidelines
Most current guidelines recommend that people spend around 30 minutes a day doing physical activity to prevent their likelihood of heart disease and premature death. However, the optimal amount of physical activity or sufficient exercise is rather one to two hours a day, explains author Professor Scott Lear from Simon Fraser University’s faculty of health sciences.
Physical activity should at best be part of working life
Most people will now think that they cannot incorporate such a lot of physical activity into their normal daily routines. After work, many people are stressed out and more concerned about their dinner than over two hours of physical training. However, the results of the current study show that the people with the highest levels of activity are those for whom physical activity is part of working life, not gym visitors.
Sitting for hours harms the human heart
"We can all integrate more activity into our everyday lives instead of relying on occasional trips to the gym or the swimming pool," say the experts. Sitting for hours is not good for the human heart and body. Getting up and some exercise is particularly important for affected people. By the way, some work can also be done while walking: For example, you can hold your meetings with just one or two people on the move during a short walk, the researchers advise.
This way you can increase your physical activity during the day
When you are in the park with your children, it is better to play and move with the children rather than sitting on a bench and watching the children. Walks to work can be done on foot or by bike. If the route is too long, take the train and get off a station or two earlier. Take the stairs instead of climbing the elevator. There are several ways to increase daily activity.
Physical activity is an inexpensive way to improve health
Increased physical activity protects health. If people walk or do an equivalent activity for more than 750 minutes a week, the researchers say their risk of premature death is reduced by 36 percent. In many countries with a low income, it was not possible for residents to eat enough fruit and vegetables to prevent so-called cardiovascular diseases. Appropriate medication is also often too expensive and physical activity could be an inexpensive alternative.
People in poorer countries work more physically, but have a poorer health system
The increased amount of physical work done by people in low-income countries reduces heart disease and improves the likelihood of surviving a heart attack or stroke. The poorer health care has an opposite effect.
Increasing number of heart diseases in people with low income
The results of the study clearly show that physical activity is the best medicine for reducing the likelihood of premature death. However, there is a trend for an increasing number of heart diseases in lower income groups, the scientists explain. Because adequate exercise does not cost much, but protects against various illnesses and premature death, governments should encourage people to exercise more in the future. In this way, the health of those affected can be protected and at the same time cost savings in the health system can be achieved. Especially for people who sit a lot at work, additional exercise is very important. (as)