Scientists Define "Very Low Level" of Exercise That Lowers Risk of Death
In November, scientists identified the smallest amount of exercise needed to improve brain function. Now, in an effort to help us keep changing our habits as little as possible while maximizing health benefits, another study has even better news. An analysis in The British Medical Journal reports that incredibly short amounts of very easy exercise can have powerful effects.
Specifically, these researchers in China showed that activities like gardening, walking, or dancing in a non-vigorous, leisurely way for between 10 minutes and an hour per week was associated with an 18 percent lower risk of death compared to people who did nothing. And the more time people spent doing these chill exercises, the better they fared. People who went above and beyond and did at least 150 minutes per week (that’s at least 30 minutes every weekday) had a 34 percent lower risk of death over the course of the study.
In the paper, lead study author Dr. Bo Xi, an associate professor at Shangdong University’s School of Public Health, and his co-authors write that their findings drive home one major point: All exercise, even the smallest, easiest amount, can have lasting benefits. A 10-minute easy workout may not help you outrun a marathoner, but it may help you outrun death.