Walking for about thirty minutes a day is associated with a 20% decrease in the risk of dying prematurely.
Even though the human species is distinguished from other animals by its intelligence, it will not be necessary to forget that our body, with its 640 muscles and 206 bones (or half of our body mass), is also perfectly adapted to the ‘intense physical exertion. During evolution, humans are estimated to routinely travel up to 20 km per day (20,000 steps and more) to gain enough calories to maintain the functioning and evolution of the brain. So we were born not only to think and innovate, but also, and perhaps most importantly, to move.
Sedentary lifestyle, a factor in the occurrence of cardiovascular accidents, diabetes and cancers
Barely a century ago, every aspect of daily life required physical effort, both at work and at home. Today, technological advances are making most of us less active than before: we work in the car, take the elevator to the office, work all day in front of a computer. and dedicate our evenings to passive leisure in front of a screen (television, telephone, computer). On average, it is estimated that an adult European devotes almost 10 hours of his or her waking hours to sedentary activities every day, without any physical expenses!
This extreme sedentary lifestyle is very bad for health: for example, several studies have shown that people who watch TV more than 4 hours a day have an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes or more. certain types of cancer. Conversely, exercise reduces the risk of cardiovascular events (myocardial infarction, stroke, sudden death), type 2 diabetes, at least 13 different types of cancer, and cognitive decline. impossible to achieve with currently available drugs.
Walking 30 minutes / day reduces the risk of health problems by 20%
Often, sedentary people are discouraged from being more physically active because they believe that it involves the practice of demanding sports. Our company values the standards of elite or extreme sports, which can give the impression of exercise is synonymous with spectacular sports performances or recordings in the fight.
This is completely untrue, as research in recent years has clearly shown that the benefits of physical activity can be observed at relatively low levels of exercise. For example, a large study of half a million men and women found that as little as 30 minutes of moderate physical activity a day (walking, for example) is enough to reduce the risk by 20%. of premature death.
The more you walk, the healthier you are
Obviously, these benefits will be even greater if you increase the duration of the exercise, with a maximum protection of about 35% for 90 minutes of walking per day. This is true for both young and old: for example, a study in Hawaii found that people aged 65 and over who walked 3.2 km or more a day, or about 5,000 steps, had a risk of premature mortality twice as low as sedentary people.
Walking faster also seems to bring increased benefits: for example, a recent study found that people who walk fast (enough to be slightly out of breath, about 7 km / h) have a 25% reduced risk of premature mortality, compared to to those who walk very slowly.
So it is not necessary to train until exhaustion or run a marathon to enjoy the health benefits of physical activity. Simply integrating 30 minutes of walking into your daily routine, either in a single session or in multiple segments, is ample enough to significantly reduce the risk of premature death and significantly improve your quality of life.
Wen CP et al. Minimum amount of physical activity to reduce mortality and prolonged life expectancy: a prospective cohort study. The Lancet 2011; 378: 1244-1253.
Hakim AA et al. The effects of walking on mortality among non-smoking retirees. N Engl J Med. 1998; 338: 94-99.
Stamatakis E et al. Self-assessed pace and mortality for all causes, cardiovascular disease and cancer: the group analysis of individual participants of 50,225 walks in 11 cohorts of the British population. British Journal of Sports Medicine 2018; 52: 761.
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