Washington: Activities other than exercise that get you moving in your everyday life — taking the stairs instead of the elevator, doing a little bit more work around the house, or walking down the hall to speak with a co-worker — can improve your fitness significantly, according to a new research.
In the study, the more time a people spent on incidental physical activities, and the more intense the activity was, the better their cardiorespiratory fitness, a measure of their aerobic fitness level.
Most of the benefit was attributed to moderate physical activity, such as brisk walking or climbing stairs, rather than light physical activity, such as cooking or window-shopping, said study researcher Ashlee McGuire, a kinesiology graduate student at Queen`s University in Canada.
The researchers estimated a 30-minute increase in moderate physical activity achieved through everyday activities could reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by 15 percent, reports Livescience.
The findings counter the idea that, to improve your fitness level, you have to elevate your heart rate to a considerable degree and maintain the activity for at least 10 minutes, the researchers said.
However, this doesn`t mean you should skip the gym entirely. If incidental activity can improve your fitness, then structured activity, in which you intend to break a sweat, would be even more beneficial, McGuire told MyHealthNewsDaily.
The article was published in the journal Medicine and science in Sports and Exercise.