London: Women put themselves at greater risk of developing depression and metabolic syndrome as they are far less likely to exercise for 30 minutes every day than men, a new study has claimed.
Researchers at Oregon State University in the US found that on average women get just 18 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise a day, compared to 30 minutes for men,
This put women at a greater risk of developing metabolic syndrome -- a group of conditions, including high cholesterol, high blood pressure and extra weight that occur together and increase the risk of coronary disease, stroke and Type 2 diabetes, the authors said.
"The results indicate that regular physical activity participation was associated with positive health outcomes for both men and women; however, there was a greater strength of association for women," lead author Paul Loprinzi was quoted as saying by the Daily Telegraph.
The researchers were initially interested in finding the correlation between physical activity, depression and metabolic syndrome.
But they ended up in finding the gender difference.
Looking at more than 1,000 men and women from a nationally represented sample, the researchers found that women were getting only about 18 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise daily, compared to men who, on average, were getting 30 minutes of similar exercise daily.
They found that slightly more than one in three women had metabolic syndrome, and one in five had symptoms of depression.
"Those who get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day are less likely to be depressed, less likely to have high cholesterol and less likely to have metabolic syndrome," said Loprinzi.
Study co-author Bradley Cardinal added: "The key message here is to get that 30 minutes of exercise every day because it reduces a great deal of risk factors."
The research was published in the journal Preventive Medicine.