30-minute exercise 5 days a week will reduce risk of early deaths: Study


Team Udayavani, Sep 23, 2017, 12:51 PM IST

New Delhi: Thirty minutes of exercise five days a week can significantly reduce your risk of dying early and of developing heart disease, even if a sports club or gym is not an option, according to a new study published in the Lancet journal.

One in 12 deaths can be prevented globally and one in 20 cases of cardiovascular disease could be prevented if everyone did physical activity — whether it’s going to the gym, walking to work, or household chores — for 30 minutes five days a week, the study stated.

The researchers tracked over 1.3 lakh people in 17 countries, including 24,000 in India.

The study states that physical activity is associated with a lower risk of mortality and cardiovascular disease including death from cardiovascular disease, 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, Prof. Scott Lear, Heart and Stroke Foundation chair in cardiovascular prevention research at St Paul’s Hospital in Canada.

Speaking about the study, Dr R M Anjana, Vice President of Madras Diabetes Research Foundation and India investigator for the report, said the study was very relevant in the Indian context because it showed for the very first time that engaging in non-recreational activity like household chores and activity at work also had a benefit on overall mortality.

“In India, people are most active during work or transport. Thus, we now know that whatever physical activity we incorporate into our daily lives can have a beneficial effect in decreasing mortality,” Anjana said.

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide and a major economic burden globally. It is estimated that 70 per cent of cardiovascular disease deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, where it is the most common cause of death.

According to Global Burden of Disease data, six million people died due to noncommunicable diseases in India in 2016.

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

But estimates suggest that almost a quarter (23 per cent) of the world’s population are not meeting physical activity guidelines.

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