Cleaned Your House? Then You Can Skip the Gym

November 03, 2008 03:35 PM
by Rachel Balik
New research shows that more adults are getting the recommended amount of exercise via work and recreation.

Expanding the Definition of Exercise

Amid concern that no one is getting enough exercise, a study in Sweden suggests that normal daily activities may in fact be as beneficial as a jog or a trip to the gym. If those kinds of activities are included in the definition of moderate exercise, then many more adults meet the recommendations for 30 minutes of daily exercise.

Patrick Bergman of the Karolinska Institute in Sweden included work-related physical labor, chores completed at home and various leisure activities under the umbrella of exercise. The study looked at 1,470 adults ages 18 to 74 and found that nearly two-thirds of them got the necessary amount of moderate exercise, Reuters reported.

The official study, published by the BMC Public Health journal, also noted numerous “socio-demographic correlates” to exercise habits. People who had gone to college were less likely to be active than those who had basic education, and marriage was linked to less exercise as well. The study also found that those who lived in smaller towns reported more physical activity than people who lived in big cities.

Background: People need more exercise

The study in Sweden found that people were getting the recommended 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day. However, in 2007, the American College of Sports Medicine revised its standard exercise guidelines of 30 minutes of exercise 3 to 5 times a week by adding weight training and jogging. And a study performed at the University of Pittsburgh in July suggested that moderate exercise isn’t enough for those trying to lose weight; for those who are overweight or obese, 60 minutes of aerobic exercise on most days is recommended.

Related Topic: Exercise requirements for children

Experts still have trouble making good recommendations for how much exercise young children need. While it’s undisputed that kids do need some exercise, especially when they are young, they simply lack the stamina and strength of adults. The New York Times reports that the best and only advice researchers can offer is to let children choose their own physical activities, to ensure that they enjoy them.

Reference: Studying physical activity; getting exercise


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