A walk of twenty minutes a day can be enough to add a few years to your lifespan. A large research of the Cambridge University has indicated that the most important cause of premature death is a lack of exercise and that even the slightest form of exercise can extend you longevity.
The study, publicized in 'The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition', shows that of the 9,2 million deaths in European men and women, 337.000 are caused by obesity, but that double that amount, about 676,000, is caused by lack of exercise. So lack of exercise kills twice as many people as obesity.
The researchers also discovered that the slightest form of exercise can extend one's longevity considerably. Twenty minutes of walking a day decreases the risk of premature death by a third. People with obesity could reduce the risk of premature death with 16 per cent by this change of lifestyle. People with a healthy weight who live a moderately active life reduce the risk by thirty per cent.
"The study shows a simple message: even limited physical activity can offer health benefits to people who are physically inactive", says Ulf Ekelund, chief researcher. "But even though we discovered that even twenty minutes of exercise can make a difference, we should all strive for more. Physical activity only has benefits and should be an important part of our daily lives."
"People get more benefits from small but manageable physical activities, because those are more easily executed and maintained", says professor Nick Wareham of the Cambridge University. According to June Davison of the 'British Heart Foundation', people can get health benefits even from daily strolls or bike rides, or by taking the stairs instead of the elevator.