We’re well aware of the benefits that exercise has on our mind, bodies and potentially life expectancy. But you don’t need to be undertaking intense gym sessions to reap the rewards.
In fact, a simple slow walk could be the secret to lowering your chances of an early death, as could other light activities such as cooking and washing up.
Research has been published in the British Medical Journal, which claims that sitting for more than nine and a half hours every day is associated with a higher risk of death. Essentially, the message that researchers want to get across is, ‘sit less and move more and often’.
This comes at a time when 80 per cent of deaths in those under the age of 75 could actually be prevented, says Public Health England.
The study, which followed 36,383 participants, aged 40 or older, over 5.8 years, compared the above light activity with moderate activity – such as brisk waking and vacuuming, and vigorous activity such as jogging or digging.
It found that the biggest reduction in death risk was between the least active and most active people. This large reduction was about 60 to 70 per cent, further proving how important exercise and movement really is.
According to the NHS, it’s medically proven that people who regularly undertake physical activity have up to a 50 per cent lower risk of colon cancer, up to a 20 per cent lower risk of breast cancer and up to an 83 per cent lower risk of osteoarthritis.
They also recommend at least 150 minutes of physical activity over the course of a week, through a variety of different activities. This could be walking, cycling or even gardening.
To cut down on sitting, try setting an hourly alarm to get up and move, opt for a walk instead of a short car journey or even try a standing desk.