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Study links gardening and daily activity to a healthier heart and longer life

Posted: October 29, 2013 |   Comments

( Researchers from the Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm, Sweden, have recently linked gardening to living a longer life. The study, "The importance of non-exercise physical activity for cardiovascular health and longevity," was published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine on October 28, 2013.

The Swedish researchers noted that elderly people tend to be more sedentary and get less exercise than other age groups, so they decided to examine the association between non-exercise physical activity and the risk of a first cardiovascular disease event and total mortality. The researchers examined 4232 60-year-old individuals; physical activity and exercise habits - including fixing up the car, home repairs, cutting the lawn, blackberry picking and going hunting - were assessed by a questionnaire, and cardiovascular health was evaluated through physical examinations and laboratory tests. The participants were then followed for an average of 12.5 years.

The results of the study showed that those who were more active, with or without exercise, had a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and generally lived longer. "Being active reduced the risk of a heart attack or stroke by 27%, and death from any cause by 30%, during the 12-year study," BBC News reported.

This study shows what a phenomenal difference that physical activity can make on a person's health. The health benefits are obviously not just from intense exercise but from being active. Activities around the house, such as gardening, can extend one's life by years. Sedentary lifestyles are often linked to health problems like obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. So one should look for something to do everyday and always be active to ensure a long, happy, healthy life.

The study's abstract concluded, "A generally active daily life was, regardless of exercising regularly or not, associated with cardiovascular health and longevity in older adults."

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