Any kind of physical activity 'can have a positive heart health impact'

Scientific Developments/Breakthroughs

A new study has offered evidence of the positive heart health benefits that all forms of physical activity can deliver.

Analysis of data from the Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology study, led by the Population Health Research Institute of McMaster University and Hamilton Health Sciences in Canada, has underlined the lifesaving benefits of more active lifestyles.

“Physical activity of any kind can help to prevent heart disease and death, according to a new study.“

Looking at data from 130,000 people from 17 countries, it was shown that meeting the current guideline of 30 minutes of activity a day reduced the risk of death from any cause by 28 percent, while the likelihood of heart disease was reduced by 20 percent.

These gains were achieved regardless of the type of physical activity performed, whether this was dedicated gym time or exercise accumulated through commuting, being active at work or doing household chores.

Additionally, there was no sign of a ceiling effect to these benefits, with those getting more than 750 minutes of brisk walking per week experiencing a 36 percent reduction in the risk of death.

Dr Salim Yusuf, director of the Population Health Research Institute, said: "If everyone was active for at least 150 minutes per week, over seven years a total of eight percent of deaths could be prevented."

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