A 20-minute walk daily cuts early death risk. A brisk 20 minute walk each day is enough to reduce an individual’s risk of early death, say researchers. After analysing over 3,34,000 men and women, they also found that twice as many deaths may be attributable to lack of physical activity compared with the number of deaths attributable to obesity.
“We found that just 20 minutes would make a difference. Physical activity has many proven health benefits and should be an important part of our daily life,” said Professor Ulf Ekelund from an international university. For this, researchers analysed data across Europe. Over an average of 12 years, they measured height, weight and waist circumference, and used self-assessment to measure levels of physical activity.
They found that the greatest reduction in risk of premature death occurred in the comparison between inactive and moderately inactive groups, judged by combining activity at work with recreational activity.
“Doing exercise equivalent to just a 20 minute brisk walk each day, would take an individual from the inactive to moderately inactive group and reduce their risk of premature death by between 16-30 per cent,” the authors noted. The impact was greatest among normal weight individuals but even those with higher BMI saw a benefit. Using the most recent available data on deaths in Europe, the team estimated that 3,37,000 of the 9.2 million deaths amongst European men and women were attributable to obesity.
However, double this number of deaths (6,76,000) could be attributed to physical inactivity. “Encouraging people to make small but achievable changes in physical activity can have significant health benefits and may be easier to achieve and maintain,” added Professor Nick Wareham.
Brisk walking for 30 minutes can burn around 200 calories. And when this is done daily, it can lead to weight loss too, over time. Encouraging people to make small but achievable changes in physical activity can have significant health benefits and may be easier to achieve and maintain
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