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Small amounts of exercise can boost longevity

7th October 2019

If you had to guess which form of exercise could help you live longer, you’re likely to think of something intense, such as going to the gym or doing lengths in the pool. These types of exercise are not always possible for older people, including those who rely on an at-home stair lift, however new research suggests even light exercise can help. As published in the BMJ, exercise as little as washing the dishes, going on a short stroll or doing some gentle gardening may help you live longer.

The Guardian reports that the new research involved a review of eight studies consisting of more than 36,000 people who had an average age of 63. The participants were split into categories based on the total amount of time they spent active and reviewed for about six years, during which 2,149 deaths were recorded.

The researchers found that a greater amount of time exercising was linked to a lower risk of death, with the results showing that people who did 258 minutes of exercise a day had a 40% lower risk of death compared to those who managed the least amount of exercise, of about 200 minutes. They also found that older people who achieved the highest levels of light physical activity, of about 380 minutes a day, had a 62% lower risk. The researchers noted that this is double as big as an effect than previously thought.

Emmanuel Stamatakis, a professor of physical activity, lifestyle and population health, tells The Guardian: “People could seek to add more physical activity of any intensity to their daily routines when their circumstances and surroundings allow. But the onus is more on governments to put forward policies that will enable and empower people to move more as part of their daily routines.”

The study did have limitations, including that the amount of exercise was only measured during a short period of their life. However, the researchers of the study said to believe that the results do support the message “sit less and move more and more often.”

Even doing odd jobs around your home may help your health, if you struggle with low mobility, installing a stairlift can make this easier to do.

Discover our range of stairlifts
 

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.