Stay active to stay out of the hospital

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Published: August, 2020

It's well established that regular exercise is healthy. But how much exercise do you need to achieve health benefits? Even just a little activity — both at home and at work — may reduce your risk of hospitalization, suggests a long-term observational study published May 6, 2020, in BMC Geriatrics. Researchers analyzed the self-reported workplace and leisure activity of 25,000 men and women ages 40 to 79 over a 20-year period. During the first 10 years of the study, people who were active were 25% less likely to be hospitalized for more than 20 days per year, compared with people who were inactive. In the second 10 years of the study, people who remained active or became active — even just slightly — were 34% less likely to be hospitalized for more than 20 days per year. Also, people who were inactive or became inactive during the study had the highest risk of being hospitalized. The take-home message: Stay as active as you can, whether it's a brisk walk most days of the week or just vigorous housework. Even a little activity protects your health.

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