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Stay active to be healthy and live longer


Researchers have determined you can maintain a healthier heart and have a better chance of living longer if you get any type of physical activity on a regular basis.

It has been reported by McMaster University that heart disease and death can be prevented with any type of physical activity. This international study dealt with 130,000 people from 17 countries.


The Population Health Research Institute of McMaster University and Hamilton Health Sciences led the

The Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE) study. In this study it was found that any type of physical activity helps people to meet the current recommended guidelines for activity. The guideline at this time is 30 minutes of activity daily, which is 150 minutes weekly, in order to raise the heart rate.


Past research from just high income countries has shown leisure time activity assists in preventing heart disease and death. Low and middle-income countries were included in this study. The benefit of such activities as commuting, having a job or simply doing housework were considered.


Principal investigator Dr. Scott Lear has said that 25 percent of people across the world fail to meet the present activity guideline. In Canada about 75 percent of people do not meet this guideline.


In the PURE study it was observed that the risk for death from any cause was lowered by 28 percent by meeting the activity guidelines. The risk for heart disease was lowered by 20 percent. These findings were independent of the type of physical activity the person did.


The positive effects from activity were seen to increase with more activity. There was a 36 percent decrease in the risk of death in people who walked briskly more than 750 minutes per week. Only a small number of people, or less than 3 percent, got this level of activity from leisure time activity. The researchers found that 38 percent of the participants got this level of activity from activities such as being active at work, commuting, or taking care of the house.


This study has been published in The Lancet. There is a lower risk of death and heart disease in people from

low-income, middle-income, and high-income countries with increased recreational and non-recreational physical activity. As Dr. Lear has said physical activity should be incorporated into daily life. The bottom line is you should stay active to stay healthy.





Dr Harold Mandel

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