A Cambridge University study of 334,000 people found that just 20 minutes of walking (or the equivalent thereof) a day is enough to prolong life, while the opposite kind of lifestyle – that of a couch potato – killed twice as many people as obesity.
While the researchers couldn’t say just how many extra years of life the exercise offered, the message was clear:
“Just a small amount of physical activity each day could have substantial health benefits for people who are physically inactive,” Ulf Ekelund, the study’s leader said, adding:
“Although we found just 20 minutes would make a difference, we should really be looking to do more than this – physical activity has many proven health benefits and should be an important part of our daily life.”
The study found that 337,000 of the 9.2million recorded deaths of European men and women could be blamed on obesity, and twice this number (roughly 676,000 deaths) could be blamed on inactivity.
But just a brisk 20-minute walk each day could counter this, so strap on those walking shoes and enjoy the great outdoors. If you need a further incentive to hit the pavement – schedule in a routine time with a friend some days.