Can Short Bursts of Activity Lengthen Your Life?

Good news for couch potatoes — bursts of activity as short as one to three minutes in duration can prompt a steep decrease in the risk of heart attack, stroke and early death, a new study reports. Researchers tracked the activity of more than 25,000 people in the United Kingdom, all of whom had wearable devices that monitored their movement down to 10-second intervals.

The investigators found that short bouts of activity lasting fewer than 10 minutes caused a significant decrease in heart attacks and strokes, as well as death from any cause. These weren’t activities where someone needed to don sportswear and athletic shoes, either, said lead researcher Matthew Ahmadi, a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Sydney in Australia.

“The health-enhancing benefits they received all came from activities of daily living such as playing with children, gardening and household tasks that mixed in short bursts of vigorous intensity,” Ahmadi said.

Excerpted from U.S. News

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