Lowering the risk of all-cause death may be as simple as 10 minutes of leisurely physical activity per week.

It has previously been shown that engaging even in low-level physical activity helps protect brain health and cardiovascular health, amongst other benefits.

Now, new research, working with tens of thousands of people aged 40 and over,  suggest that leisurely activities such as gardening or dancing for a few minutes a week could lower your risk of death from multiple causes.

So not only do low-intensity activities protect your brain and heart, but they also help you live longer!

Even low-intensity activities lower your risk of death

The study indicates that people who spend even as little as 10 minutes each week being physically active have a lower risk of death linked to cardiovascular, cancer, and all-cause mortality. And by “physically active”, we mean gardening, having a short walk, cleaning the house or dancing. Basically, any activity that gets you moving lowers your risk of death!

The researchers found that, unlike people who were very sedentary, individuals who engaged in 10 to 59 minutes of moderate, leisurely physical activity per week had an 18 percent lower risk of all-cause death.

Individuals who engaged in moderate physical activity for a little longer — between 150 and 299 minutes per week — dropped their all-cause death risk by 31 percent.

People  who spent 1,500 minutes or more per week being physically active in their free time experienced a 46 percent decrease in their overall mortality risk.

It’s not the quantity that matters, it’s the quality.

Achieving 1500 minutes of leisurely activity per week is not easy for a working adult. Thankfully, research also shows that shorter but more intense activities lowers even more the mortality risk.

“[…] vigorous [physical activity] has added benefits for reducing mortality compared with moderate [physical activity]. Promoting [physical activity] of any intensity and amount is an important approach to reducing mortality risk in the general population.”

In other words, any type and amount of activity you can fit in your week lowers your all-cause death risk and cardiovascular health risks. Adding more intensity to your physical activity will lead to additional benefits.

What do you think? How many minutes per week are you physically active? Do you wish you could fit more activity in your week? Share your tips in the comments below!