A Quick Walk Could Help Reduce Risk Of Early Death￼
Could a daily around the block help prevent chronic disease and early death? That’s the conclusion of a recent meta-analysis by researchers from the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. They reviewed data from 196 previously published studies, which included data on more than 30 million participants — the largest analysis to date examining the effects of physical activity on the risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and premature death.
They found that most people — two out of three — weren’t getting at least 150 minutes a week of non-work-related physical activity. Fewer than 1 in 10 people performed more than 300 minutes of exercise weekly. But there was good news, too. The researchers determined that even just 75 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity reduced the risk of developing cardiovascular disease by 17 percent and reduced the risk of developing cancer by 7 percent. The same amount of exercise — the equivalent of one 11-minute brisk walk every day of the week — was associated with a 23 percent lower risk of early death.
What’s more, when the researchers extrapolated the data to the general population, their calculations showed that if everyone performed at least 75 min per week of moderate-intensity physical activity, about 1 in 10 early deaths, 1 in 20 cases of cardiovascular disease, and nearly 1 in 30 cases of cancer would be prevented. This amount of exercise could serve as a good starting place for people who find higher amounts daunting, says the study’s lead author.
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