How was the study done?
“Our study shows,” says Prof. LaCroix, “for the first time using device-measured light physical activity in older women, that there are health benefits at activity levels below the guideline recommendations.”
In fact, the research revealed that for every 30 minutes of light physical activity each day, the risk of mortality fell by 12 percent. Additionally, every 30 minutes of moderate physical activity correlated with a 39 percent drop in mortality risk.
Moreover, these benefits applied to women of various ethnic backgrounds and seemed to be independent of weight or age.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that older adults engage in at least 2.5 hours of moderate physical activity (such as brisk walking) every week, or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity each week.
“We don’t have to be running marathons to stay healthy. The paradigm needs to shift when we think about being active […] Every movement counts,” Prof LaCroix adds.
“A lot of what we do on a daily basis is improving our health, such as walking to the mail box, strolling around the neighborhood, folding clothes, and straightening up the house. Activities like these account for more than 55 percent of how older individuals get their daily activity.”She also stresses the importance of tailoring physical activity recommendations to the capabilities of the individual.
“Older people expend more energy doing the same kinds of activities they did when younger, so their daily movement has to accommodate for this,” she explains. “Think of it as taking a pill (activity level) at different doses (amounts of time) depending on the age of the patient. It’s not one size fits all.”
“When we get up from the couch and chair and move around, we are making good choices and contributing to our health.”
The CDC also remind us that “some physical activity is better than none at all. Your health benefits will also increase with the more physical activity that you do.” Read more on Medical News Today.
Previous studies have reported that even little movements like ‘fidgeting’ may also contribute to healthier life. Persons who fidget are more likely to lose weight and have fewer health problems than those that lead sedentary lifestyles.
Remember to consult your doctor before you engage in moderate to vigorous chores or exercise.