Performing basic daily life activities such as housework, cooking, gardening, or even taking a shower can boost cardiovascular health, according to a recent study.

Published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, the study, led by a team of researchers at the Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science at the University of California San Diego, analyzed the correlation between daily movement and risk of heart diseases. 

 “The study demonstrates that all movement counts towards disease prevention. Spending more time in daily life movement, which includes a wide range of activities we all do while on our feet and out of our chairs, resulted in a lower risk of cardiovascular disease,” said author Steve Nguyen, a postdoctoral scholar at the Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health. 

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The study deduced that women who spend at least hours of daily life movement per day compared to women with less than two hours of daily life movement have a 62% lower risk of cardiovascular disease death, 43% lower risk of cardiovascular disease, 43% lower risk of coronary heart disease, and 30% lower risk of stroke. 

Researchers of the study used a machine algorithm to classify between five activities- sitting, standing still, daily life movement, sitting in a vehicle, and walking/running. Daily life movement consisted of activities such as walking in a room, cooking meals, dressing up, and gardening. 

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Participants of the study, ageing between 63 to 97, wore a research-grade accelerometer for a week to measure the time spent moderately moving and performing household tasks. 

“Much of the movement engaged in by older adults is associated with daily life tasks, but it may not be considered physical activity. Understanding the benefits of daily life movement and adding this to physical activity guidelines may encourage more movement,” said senior author Andrea LaCroix, professor and chief of the Division of Epidemiology at the Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health.