For anyone that thinks that they might be spending just a little too much time on the sofa, a new eight year study in Taiwan has revealed that you can live an extra 3 years by exercising for just 15 minutes a day – half the 30 minute recommended exercise schedule announced by the World Health Organisation.
“Halving the daily exercise requirement still yielded significant benefits for men and women, young and old, smokers and non-smokers, and even for high-risk groups such as diabetics and people with high blood pressure,” says Chi-Pang Wen of the National Health Research Institutes in Taipei, Taiwan, head of the research team.
The study, based on 400,000 people, divided participants into five separate groups according to the level of the exercise that was routinely conducted. Individuals were then placed into categories depending on the types of exercise activities completed.
According to the results, those people who spent the most time exercising saw the most improvements in their level of fitness – no surprise there then I hear you say, however the study also showed some interesting results regarding those individuals who manage to make a small amount of effort. The results show that just 15 minutes of exercise a day can completely change your health and well-being against those who do nothing at all, with Cancer and Heart Disease falling by 10 and 20 percent respectively.
The Taiwan study follows similar research here in Australia regarding the hazards of watching too much television. No, your eye’s most definitely go square but watching TV for hours on end could certainly end up taking years off your life.
In a modern society where it’s almost entirely ‘unthinkable’ that we miss the latest episode of such shows as Mad Men, Home and Away or Underbelly, researchers estimated that for every hour an adult spends watching TV, their life expectance shortens by almost 22 minutes and those glued to the box for six hours a day, cut their life expectancy by up to 5 years from those that didn’t.
“People don’t realise how it all adds up,” the study’s lead author Dr Lennert Veerman told the Australian Associated Press. “They should try not to watch too much TV and find alternative things to do, preferably things that are light activities.They should watch the news and keep themselves informed, but if in the rest of their lives they are pretty active, I wouldn’t tell them not to watch a movie.”
The federal government’s stance remains that Australians spend at least 30 minutes a day doing moderate-intensity physical activity.
financial advice for when life changes
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Acknowledgement to the Sydney Morning Herald and the National Health Research Institute of Taiwan.