Washing up helps wipe out heart risk

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Even something as simple as taking a shower counts. Researchers compared the activity levels of 5,416 women aged 63 to 97 who did not have heart disease at the start of the study.

Compared with women doing less than two hours of daily movement, those doing at least four hours had a 43 per cent lower risk of getting cardiovascular disease, 43 per cent lower risk of coronary heart disease, 30 per cent lower risk of stroke and 62 per cent lower chance of dying from heart disease.

Lead researcher Dr Steve Nguyen, from the University of California San Diego, said: “All movement counts towards disease prevention. Spending more time in daily life movement, which includes a wide range of activities we do while on our feet, resulted in a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.”

Experts looked at how people spent their waking time, including sitting, standing still, daily life movement, walking and running. Participants wore an accelerometer to measure the time they spent moving.

By the end of the study, 616 women were diagnosed with cardiovascular disease, 268 with coronary heart disease, 253 had a stroke and 331 died of cardiovascular disease.

The study was published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

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