We know it’s good for us, but can exercise prevent heart disease and how much do we need?

Yes, exercise can help prevent heart disease and the good news is that you don’t have to work up a sweat to make a difference.

Research has found that everyday low-intensity physical activity is more beneficial than previously thought.

Findings of 15-year follow-up study

Karolinska Institutet researchers analysed the levels of physical activity in 1 200 people across Sweden and how they affected the mortality rate due to cardiovascular disease 15 years later.

Data were gathered from the ABC study, in which the activity level of the participants is measured using motion trackers.

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If you replace 30 minutes of sitting with everyday activity, like walking or doing household chores, you will reduce your risk of fatal cardiovascular disease by 24%

Researchers found the following:

  • Replacing half an hour’s sedentariness a day with everyday activity, like standing, walking or doing household chores, reduces the risk of fatal cardiovascular disease by 24%
  • Replacing sedentariness with 10 minutes of moderate to intense activity, like brisk walking or higher intensity training, a day reduced the risk of death due to cardiovascular disease by 38%
  • Replacing sedentariness with 30 minutes of moderate to intense activity a day reduced the risk of death due to cardiovascular disease by 77%

Related: Heart disease kills 1 in 10

“In an earlier study, we also showed that people who sit still for more than 10 hours a day have a 2,5 times higher risk of early death than people who sit for less than 6,5 hours a day,” says first author Ing-Mari Dohrn, postdoc at Karolinska Institutet’s Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society.

Source: Karolinska Institutet via www.sciencedaily.com

While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.