The 30-Minute Rule

22 September, 2012

Are you busy sitting all day?

Some days there's no way around it. Stuff you need to do -- drive, work, plan a get-together, deal with e-mail, pay bills -- is stuff you do sitting down. But yet another study has shown that getting as little as 30 minutes of activity a day is all it takes to reduce mortality risk by 14 percent. So sweep the patio, have a pillow fight with the kids, walk while you talk on the phone. It all adds up.

You don't have to train for a triathlon to reduce your risk of life-shortening diseases. You just need to increase your daily moving time -- that is, activities that get your heart going -- to at least 30 minutes. Know what else can help you live longer? You guessed it: eating more fruits and veggies. Just one extra serving each day -- an apple or pear or a cup of leafy greens -- cuts your risk of dying from anything by 20 percent. Huge benefits for modest efforts.

SOURCES: Relation between plasma ascorbic acid and mortality in men and women in EPIC-Norfolk prospective study: a prospective population study. European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. Khaw, K. T., Bingham, S., Welch, A., Luben, R., Wareham, N., Oakes, S., Day, N., Lancet 2001 Mar 3;357(9257):657-663. Work and leisure time physical activity assessed using a simple, pragmatic, validated questionnaire and incident cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality in men and women: The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer in Norfolk prospective population study. Khaw, K. T., Jakes, R., Bingham, S., Welch, A., Luben, R., Day, N., Wareham, N., International Journal of Epidemiology 2006 Aug;35(4):1034-1043.


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