Dr KK Aggarwal
The Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE) study has shown that any kind of physical activity lowers the risk of heart disease and death.
The prospective cohort study led by the Population Health Research Institute of McMaster University and Hamilton Health Sciences recruited more than 130,000 subjects from 17 countries - Canada, Sweden, United Arab Emirates, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Poland, Turkey, Malaysia, South Africa, China, Colombia, Iran, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Zimbabwe, including India.
The PURE study, published September 22, 2017 in The Lancet, not only examined leisure time physical activity, it also evaluated non-recreational activities such as active commuting, having an active job or even doing housework, which are more prevalent in low and middle-income countries. And, any activity was found to meet the current recommendations of 30 minutes of activity a day, or 150 minutes a week.
By meeting the activity guidelines, the risk for death from any cause was reduced by 28%, while heart disease was reduced by 20%; these results were not influenced by the type of physical activity the person did. Those who recorded more than 750 minutes of brisk walking per week had a 36% reduction in risk of death. But, a large percentage of participants (38%) were able to achieve this level of activity from activities such as commuting, being active at work or doing household chores compared to only 3% of those who achieved this level from leisure time activity.
Although often used interchangeably, ‘exercise’ is not synonymous with ‘physical activity’. Exercise is a part of physical activity, which includes activities done at leisure, done at work, commuting or household tasks or chores. Increasing physical activity is a strategy that requires no investment, no special training to reduce the burden of non communicable diseases. Everybody should move around more often all through the day in addition to regular exercise. Promoting physical activity is also the objective of the “Move, Move and Move” campaign of IMA.
(Source: McMaster University, Sept 22, 2017)