Walk to work, clean your house, live longer: Lancet

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Sep 22, 2017, 02.29 PM(IST)

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A hundred and fifty minutes of exercise a week, even doing physical chores at home, but also reduce the risk of an early death.

A hundred and fifty minutes of exercise a week, even doing physical chores at home, can not only take care of a host of physical ailments like heart disease but also reduce the risk of an early death. And this works even if you do not have access to a gym or sporting facilities, medical journal Lancer said in a report published today.  

So even if you are not a fan of sweating it out in a gym, or it plain does not fit into your schedule, a 30-minute walk to work, or simply doing a little cleaning at home for half an hour can prevent as many as one in 12 deaths globally, one in 20 cases of cardiovascular disease. And this routine needs to be followed five days a week with two off days thrown in. 

The survey tracked 24,000 respondents in India and more than 1.3 lakh in 17 countries. 

Physical exercise for 150 minutes a week significantly lower risk of death, heart attack, stroke or heart failure.  

"Physical activity for as little as 30 minutes, whether it is walking to work or doing household chores, most days of the week has a substantial benefit, and higher physical activity is associated with even lower risks," said the study's lead author, Professor Scott Lear, Heart and Stroke Foundation chair in cardiovascular prevention research at St Paul's Hospital in Canada.

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Dr. RM Anjana, who is the India investigator of the study, said the findings were very relevant to India since it showed that housework or physical effort during transport, or at work also had a benefit on overall mortality.  

"In India, people are most active during work or transport. We now know that whatever physical activity we incorporate into our daily lives can have a beneficial effect in decreasing mortality," said Dr. R M Anjana, who is also vice-president of Madras Diabetes Research Foundation. 

 Six million died due to non-communicable diseases in India in 2016, says the Global Burden of Disease data. 

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says those in the 18-64 years age-group should do 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week, as well as muscle strengthening exercises at least two days a week.