Golf, gardening and housework ..

figure_sweeping_800_10765said to reduce risk of serious diseases. Really?

Gardening – risk of tetanus, nettle rash, slug pellet poisoning, not to mention muscle strain from digging.

Housework – falling off ladders, scolding yourself, dangerous cleaning chemicals, electric shocks, and dust mites.

Golf – getting drunk at 19th hole, boredom if you don’t play, being hit by a stray ball, being hit by lightening..

Need I say more?

So why do experts think these things are good for your health?

Basically it’s the exercise involved. They say we should be doing five times the WHO recommended minimum.

Playing an extra round of golf or gardening for a few more hours each week can help prevent five of the most common chronic diseases.

The research is based on 174 studies published since 1980 and the analysis found that increasing a person’s exercise level from 600 minutes a week to 3,000 -4,000 a week reduced the risk of heart disease by 16% and colon cancer by 10%.

This is the equivalent of climbing the stairs for 10 minutes, vacuuming for 15 minutes, running for 20 minutes or walking for 25 minutes – five days a week.

This level of activity also reduces the risk of diabetes by 14% and stroke by 16%. If you doubled the exercise levels you could reduce risks by a further 7-10%.

What is clear is that in terms of protecting oneself from the development of of these five common and potentially life-limiting illnesses, undertaking any level of exercise is protective, more is better, and should be encouraged by healthcare professionals, politicians, and charities alike, to decrease the burden of these debilitating illnesses in society today” said Oliver Monfredi, clinical lecturer in cardiovascular medicine at the University of Manchester.

And researchers at the University of Strathclyde and the International Prevention Research Institute in Lyons said that this study “represents an advance in the handling of disparate detainee a lifestyle factor that has considerable importance for the prevention of chronic diseases“.

What they’re not sure about is whether risk reduction is different when you exercise in short intensive bursts or do light physical activity for longer.

OK, I take it back about the gardening and the housework – but not the golf!

An earlier post on exercise