Stroll your way to a longer life

The quest to slow aging and combat the effects of too much sitting could be dramatically boosted by an extra two minutes of walking each hour.

Sitting for more than six hours a day has been shown to increase a person’s risk for a range of lifestyle diseases and early death. The prescribed antidote is 2.5 hours a week of moderate to vigorous exercise, a goal that 80 percent of Americans fail to achieve, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Seeking alternatives, scientists at the University of Utah strapped accelerometers to more than 3,000 people and analyzed the intensity of their activity over three years. They found that just an extra two minutes of light activity, such as walking, each waking hour reduced subjects’ risk of death by a third. The two extra minutes burned two-thirds as many calories in the course of a week that 2.5 hours of more intense exercise does and is far more achievable for most people.

TRENDPOST: The study adds additional evidence to the growing body of research showing that light activity, such as gardening or house cleaning, can have significant health and longevity benefits. But, researchers add, 30 to 60 minutes of moderate exercise three to five times a week should still be everyone’s goal.

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