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Replacing Sedentary Time With 30 Minutes Of Housework Can Benefit Health

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Researchers of a new study found that everyday physical activities such as walking and doing household chores have health benefits. Replacing sedentary time with light activity reduces the risk of fatal cardiovascular disease.

Long-Term Study

Not everyone enjoys household chores but now, there is another reason to be encouraged. A long-term study conducted by researchers from the Karolinska Institutet found that by simply replacing sedentary time with 30 minutes of light, everyday activity, an individual's fatal cardiovascular disease risk could be significantly reduced.

In order to collect data, researchers assessed 851 men and women from Sweden over a 15-year period. In order to find the effects of replacing sedentary time with physical activity on mortality, researchers used an Actigraph 7164 accelerometer to measure sedentary time, light intensity physical activity, and moderate to vigorous physical activity while mortality data was gathered from Swedish registers.

Of the participants, 24 died from cardiovascular disease, 27 died from cancer, and 28 died from other causes over the 14.2-year follow-up.

Slashed Cardiovascular Death Risk

After taking sex, age, smoking habits, educational level, and previous disease into account, researchers found that replacing 30 minutes a day of sedentary time with light intensity physical activity such as housework, walking, or even standing slashes fatal cardiovascular disease by 24 percent.

Moreover, replacing sedentary time with moderate to vigorous physical activity for 10 minutes a day slashes cardiovascular death risk by 33 percent, while a 30-minute replacement could slash the death risk by 77 percent.

According to researchers, because their study encompassed quite a long period of time and used objective measures of physical activity, the results of their study is quite unique.

"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," said Maria Hagströmer, lead author of the study.

Physical Activity Over Sedentary Time

The results of the study yet again show the importance of physical activity, whether light, moderate, or vigorous and the potential dangers of a sedentary lifestyle. According to first author Ing-Mari Dohrn, they had also proven in a previous study that those who sit still for over 10 hours over day have a 2.5 percent higher chance of death than those who sit still for 6.5 hours.

Similarly, previous studies have also shown that sitting too long and exercising too little could accelerate the aging process and that a sedentary lifestyle could increase the risk of developing environmentally-induced asthma symptoms.

The study is published in the journal Clinical Epidemiology.

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