Just TWO MINUTES of effort a day is enough to prevent an early death
- 15 minutes of vigorous activity per week is enough to reduce the risk of death by 18%
- Finding comes from an Australian study of 70,000 Britons followed for 7 years
- Authors say it shows the merits of even small amounts of exercise done every day
- Even climbing the stairs counts as a ‘vigorous activity’ according to the NHS
Just two minutes of vigorous exercise a day may be enough to reduce your risk of dying young, research suggests.
And experts say you don’t even have to do anything too intense.
Just walking up the stairs, running through the garden or hopping is enough, they claim.
Even a little bit of exercise goes a long way, with scientists saying just two minutes of vigorous exercise a day can reduce your risk of death by nearly a fifth
HOW MUCH EXERCISE SHOULD I DO?
Adults aged 19 to 64 are advised to exercise daily.
The NHS says Britons should do at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity per week, or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity per week.
The advice is the same for disabled adults, pregnant women and new mothers.
Exercising just once or twice a week can reduce the risk of heart disease or stroke.
Moderate activity includes brisk walking, water aerobics, biking, dancing, doubles tennis, pushing a lawnmower, walking, and rollerblading.
Vigorous exercise includes running, swimming, cycling fast or up hills, climbing stairs, as well as sports such as football, rugby, netball, and hockey.
Scientists from the University of Sydney analyzed data from more than 70,000 Britons, tracking their exercise levels over a week and their subsequent health over the next seven years.
The results showed that people who did just 15 minutes of intense activity per week — or 2m 9s per day — were 18 percent less likely to die within the study period.
This was compared to those who did just two minutes a week.
Lead author Dr Matthew Ahmadi said: ‘The results indicate that building vigorous activity in short periods of time during the week can help us live longer.
“Given that time constraints are the most commonly reported barrier to regular physical activity, building small amounts sporadically throughout the day can be a particularly attractive option for busy people.”
NHS guidelines suggest adults should get 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week, spread over four to five days.
Examples of vigorous exercise include running, swimming, skipping, and climbing stairs.
Each participant in the study, who was in their sixties on average and nearly evenly gendered, wore a wrist-mounted activity tracker for a week to measure their total. vigorous activity time.
This data was then compared to death rates or diseases such as heart disease or cancer.
Results published in the European Heart Journal show that people who did not engage in vigorous activity had a 4 percent overall risk of dying in the next five years.
Cancer Research UK forecasts that more than 42 million adults in the UK will be overweight or obese by 2040
This risk was halved to just 2 percent for those who did 10 minutes a week and to just 1 percent for those who did an hour a week.
But the scientists say the most interesting finding involved the smallest bouts of vigorous activity per day.
However, more was still better.
For example, those who did that with those who did 53 minutes a week, about seven and a half minutes a day, had a 36 percent lower chance of dying over five years, compared with those who did two minutes a week.
The health benefits of regular exercise have been known for decades.
Staying fit can prevent obesity and its associated health effects, such as type 2 diabetes and cancer. It can also improve bone strength and mental well-being.
However, a study by Essex researchers in May suggested that only one in 20 adults in England are getting the recommended amount of physical activity per week.
Lack of exercise, combined with unhealthy diets, is at the root of the growing obesity epidemic in the UK.
The latest data shows that 64 percent of adults are overweight, and more of us are predicted to gain weight in the future.
Obesity not only increases the UK’s waistline but also the cost of health care, with the NHS spending an estimated £6.1 billion between 2014 and 2015 treating weight-related illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.
In the US, an estimated 73.6 percent of adults are considered overweight or obese.