“Non-exercise physical activity” may reduce heart risks in older individuals

The Los Angeles Times “Science Now” blog reports that research published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine suggests that “non-exercise physical activity” may reduce “the risk of a heart attack or stroke by more than a quarter” in older individuals. Investigators “tracked the behavior and health of nearly 4,000 people 60 and older in Stockholm for about 12 1/2 years.”

The NPR “Shots” blog reports that the researchers found that those “who had been active but not “exercising” at age 60 had a 27 percent lower risk of heart attack and stroke over that time, and a 30 percent lower risk of death.”

These individuals had been doing “things like mowing the lawn, housework, fix-it projects, gardening, bicycling, and … ‘gathering mushrooms or berries’.” The researchers also found that “the most active” participants “had trimmer waists, and better HDL cholesterol, triglycerides and blood glucose levels.”