Walk briskly and live long | Sunday Observer

Walk briskly and live long

12 March, 2023

Walking briskly for just 11 minutes a day can slash the chances of dying early by almost a quarter, a study found. One in ten premature deaths could be prevented if everyone managed at least half the recommended level of physical activity, it suggests.

Experts said the findings should stop people feeling daunted by exercise with it proving ‘doing some physical activity is better than doing none’.

The NHS recommends adults do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity a week.

But a study by Cambridge University found doing just half of this substantially reduced a person’s risk of heart disease, stroke and cancer.

Analysis of data involving more than 30million people found 75 minutes per week of moderate-intensity activity – such as cycling, hiking or dancing – lowered the risk of an early death by 23 per cent.

Specifically, it cut the chances of developing cardiovascular disease – which can cause heart attacks and stroke - by 17 percent and cancer by 7 per cent.

Those who did more than the recommended levels had ‘marginal’ additional benefits, according to the findings published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Dr. Soren Brage, of Cambridge’s Medical Research Council (MRC) Epidemiology Unit said: ‘If you are someone who finds the idea of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a week a bit daunting, then our findings should be good news.

‘Doing some physical activity is better than doing none.

‘This is also a good starting position - if you find that 75 minutes a week is manageable, then you could try stepping it up gradually to the full recommended amount.’

Researchers looked at results reported in 196 peer-reviewed articles, covering more than 30million participants from 94 large study cohorts.

They examined the association between physical activity levels and risk of heart disease, cancer and early death.

They observed that, outside of work-related physical activity, two out of three people reported activity levels below 150 minutes per week of moderate activity with fewer than one in 10 managing more than 300 minutes per week.

They noted that additional benefits in terms of reduced risk of disease or early death were marginal beyond 150 minutes per week of moderate activity with even half of this amount resulting in significant benefits.

Researchers calculated that if everyone in the studies had done the equivalent of at least 150 minutes per week of moderate activity, around one in six (16 percent) of early deaths would be prevented.

-Daily Mail,uk