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Did you know that light household chores can add years to your life?

Scientists have even found lightweight working households – such as washing or dusting – provide enough exercise Image: File

Faced with a bunch of dirty dishes, the temptation is to get down on the sofa and turn on the TV instead.

But one study shows that you can love your early grave.

Scientists have even found lightweight household jobs – such as washing or dusting – provide enough exercise to significantly reduce the risk of early death.

On the other hand, sitting or lying all day can more than double the risk of dying before your time.

Researchers say their results show that just staying active, rather than trying to achieve unrealistic exercise, can help you live longer.

The new survey followed more than 36,000 adults over six years – and categorized their daily activity levels into four levels, from the least to the most active.

The study, conducted by the University of Leicester and the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences in Oslo, showed that every level of physical activity, regardless of intensity, is associated with a lower risk of death.

An hour of light tasks or five minutes of moderate activity, such as vacuuming or mowing the lawn, halved the risk. More vigorous exercise, such as 24-minute jogging or cycling, reduce the risk by 60%.

But a study, published in the British Medical Journal, found that sitting or lying down for nine hours a day – not sleeping – more than doubled your chances of dying early.

Dr Charlotte Edwardsson, of Leicester University, said: "These findings really reinforce the saying 'To do something is better than to do nothing.'

"If you are someone who does not reach the recommended levels of moderate-intensity physical activity, then doing more light activity – for example, grabbing more and more generally more legs – will still be beneficial."

Professor Tom Yates, also from Leicester, added: "Previously it was assumed that it was better in terms of physical activity for health.

"However, this study suggests that health can be optimized with just 24 minutes a day of fast walking or other forms of moderate-intensity physical activity."

Daily Mail

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