Gardening 'linked to longer lives'
Pottering around the garden or fixing up the house has been linked to a longer life in a study of people over the age of 60. Older people can struggle to exercise vigorously, but the study said simply getting off the sofa and avoiding a sedentary lifestyle was a lifesaver. The Swedish study of 4,232 people suggested the risks of heart attack and stroke were cut.
The findings were published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. The researchers at the Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm, said elderly people tended to spend more time being sedentary and less time exercising than people in other age groups.
So they looked at the activity levels in-between sitting down and full-on exercise - such as fixing up the car, home repairs, cutting the lawn, blackberry picking or going hunting.
The results showed that people who were more active on a daily basis had the lowest risk of a heart attack, but those who were merely active without exercising still had a lower risk than those doing nothing. Being active reduced the risk of a heart attack or stroke by 27%, and death from any cause by 30%, during the 12-year study.
The report said: "A generally active daily life had important beneficial associations with cardiovascular health and longevity in older adults, which seemed to be regardless of regular exercise."