Ever wondered how much of a difference a daily walk could make to your health? Turns out, it’s a whole lot.
Research from Cambridge University, which used data from the fitness trackers of nearly 100,000 people in the UK, found that the intensity of your exercise regime was more important than the time you allocated to it.
The data of the participants, of which the mean age was 62 years and 56 per cent were female, was analysed and followed up over an average period of 3.1 years. It found there was a higher rate of mortality among those who had fitness data showing a less vigorous exercise routine.
The paper suggested that incorporating two minutes of brisk walking into a 35-minute stroll would work to lower your chance of early death by 21 per cent. If you were more time-poor or wanted to knock out your exercise quickly, then a seven-minute brisk walk would be better than a 12-minute stroll. Doing that every day would lower your chance of early death by an estimated 30 per cent.
Yes, just seven minutes of power walking will do.
The research admitted it was limited and couldn’t make firm conclusions due to the fact that it was an observational study. Still, the data suggests if you’re a speedy but concise walker, you might be on the right track.
“This is the first study to show that intensity plays a role in the prospective association between physical activity and all-cause mortality, over and above total volume of activity,” the paper read.
“This is important as different strategies of behavior change may be more appealing or practical to different individuals.”
They’re certainly right on that last point — a 10-minute brisk stroll is far more appealing (especially in these times).
This study, of course, only details the movement data and is not taking into account other factors such as diet and lifestyle. For those hoping to eat junk food all day, a seven-minute daily walk won’t be a magic pill.
This article has been updated since its original publish date.