Move more, even if it’s gentle activity

News briefs

Are you putting off exercise because you think you need to jump into a rigorous routine? An observational study published Aug. 8, 2018, in the Journal of the American Heart Association suggests that even light physical activity, combined with less time sitting, is associated with signs of better heart and blood vessel health among older adults. Researchers analyzed health information for more than 1,600 people ages 60 to 64 who underwent clinical assessments and wore heart and physical activity monitors for five days. Participants' activity ranged from light intensity — like stretching and golfing — to moderate-to-vigorous activity, like brisk walking, dancing, and lawn mowing. Scientists also looked at participants' blood markers for heart and blood vessel disease, including the inflammation markers C-reactive protein and interleukin-6. The results: compared with being sedentary, people with light to moderate activity levels had more favorable biomarker profiles. The takeaway: lots of research has shown that replacing sedentary time with any amount of physical activity is linked to better health, so don't let high activity goals keep you from getting off the couch.

Image: © Mark Bowden/Getty Images