DIY, gardening linked to longer lives

Elderly people may live a longer life by developing a hobby. A Swedish study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that elderly people who spend less time being sedentary and more time being active on a daily basis had a lower risk of heart attack and stroke.

Researchers at the Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm analyzed the activity levels of 4,232 people over 12 years that didn’t include formal exercise--activities such as gardening, hunting, and home repairs. These activities helped reduce heart attack or stroke risk by 27 percent and death by 30 percent. Even without exercising, people who were somewhat active still had a lower risk compared to those who did nothing.

The study noted that a generally active daily life resulted in important cardiovascular benefits and longevity for older adults. It is believed that a sedentary lifestyle lowers a person’s metabolic rate and may alter hormones produced in muscle tissue, which then affects overall health.

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