10-minute daily walk cuts death risk
WALKING briskly for around ten minutes a day can slash the chances of dying early by almost a quarter, research shows.
The NHS recommends adults do at least 150 minutes of moderate activity each week.
But if everyone managed only half this, one in ten premature deaths could be prevented, a Cambridge university study suggests.
Analysis of data involving more than 30million people found 75 minutes a week – less than 11 minutes a day – of activities such as hiking, cycling or dancing lowered the risk of an early death by 23 per cent. Specifically, it cut the chance of developing cardiovascular disease, which can cause heart attacks and stroke, by 17 per cent and cancer by 7 per cent.
Those who did more than the recommended levels had ‘marginal’ additional benefits, according to the findings published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
Dr Soren Brage, of Cambridge’s Medical research Council Epidemiology unit, said: ‘If you are someone who finds the idea of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a week a bit daunting, then our findings should be good news. Doing some physical activity is better than doing none.’ researchers found that two in three people reported doing below 150 minutes a week of moderate activity outside of their work.
They calculated that if everyone had done the equivalent of at least 150 minutes, around one-sixth of early deaths would be prevented. But even doing 75 minutes would prevent around one in ten premature deaths.
Professor James Woodcock, from the Epidemiology unit, said: ‘We know physical activity is good for you, especially if you feel it raises your heart rate. But what we’ve found is there are substantial benefits even if you can manage only ten minutes every day.’