From 2003 to 2010, Canadian scientists conducted one of the largest studies.130,000 people from the 17-year-old high-income, middle-income and low-income countries: the PURE study dedicated to the benefits of movement.
For seven years, scientists have been collecting data on physical activity, cardiovascular diseases and overall mortality. The study involved more than 130 thousand people 35–70 years old from 17 countries with different standards of living.
It turned out that people who are physically active for at least 150 minutes a week are healthier than those who spend less time on the move. Mobile people are less susceptible to heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular diseases, and also have lower rates of death from other causes.
Only 2.5 hours of physical activity per week reduces the risk of premature death by 28%, and the likelihood of heart disease by 20%.
More importantly, the type of physical activity does not matter. The lead author of the study (Scott Lear), believes that it is not necessary to pay for health. Any activity, be it housework, physical labor or walking, effectively reduces the risk of premature death and heart disease.
Despite many studies proving the need for physical activity, modern man is moving less and less. People drive cars more often, spend more time in front of screens, walk less.
Meanwhile, the number of chronic diseases associated with a sedentary lifestyle and overweight, is growing rapidly.
According to Health Effects of Overweight and Obesity in 195 Countries over 25 Years New England Medical Journal, in 2015, the excess weight affected the death of four million people worldwide (which is 7% of all deaths). Most of these people died from cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, kidney disease, and cancer.
Often people say that they are hampered by sports lack of time or money. However, in order to move a little more than 20 minutes a day, it is not necessary to allocate time, buy running shoes or gym membership.
Here are some tips from Mike Evans, a professor at the University of Toronto (Mike Evans):
According to Scott Lear, for the most active and healthy participants in the study, the movement was part of everyday life. They walked a lot, moved at work and did housework.
And by the way, physical activity helps to cope with stress.
Physical activity fights stress well. I come back from work on a bicycle, and it perfectly helps to get rid of the stress accumulated during the day. I come home much more fresh than if I was sitting in a car trying to cope with the traffic.