To remain healthy, you need to exercise regularly — but does that mean you have to schedule time at the gym? One study suggests that it's possible to get enough physical activity for good health through housework, gardening and washing the car.
Car wash picture from Shutterstock
The BBC's Trust Me I'm A Doctor series used activity monitors to measure the activity levels of eight volunteers. Ideally, those volunteers would be doing 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a week, measured via an MET (Metabolic Intensity of Task) score. To qualify as moderate intensity, a score of three or more is needed.
In the study, it turns out that vacuuming and mopping both scored above three, as did washing windows, planting flowers, washing the car and mowing the lawn. If you're regularly performing those chores, you're reducing your risk of heart disease and obesity.
To be honest, that's quite a big if — while the volunteers claimed to spend 72 minutes a week on those outdoor activities, very few people plant flowers or wash windows every week. However, it's a reminder that keeping moving is valuable for your health. Hit the link for full details of the study.
Can you cheat your way to fitness? [BBC News Magazine]