Why leaving your chair could add five years to your life


It perhaps should no longer be necessary to remind people that physical activity is essential for health and longevity.Medical research into reducing the risk of heart disease,diabetes and cancer in older people continues to support this truth.The results of recent large studies by the Oslo University Hospital, Norwegian School of Sports Sciences, confirm a strong association between physical activity and longer living in older men.

The Oslo University reports point to a number of ways physical exercise was seen to aid survival. It was found that men in their seventies who exercised for just half an hour almost every day could reduce by 40 per cent their risk of death and give themselves up to five more years of life.In Norway the findings are considered so important a public health issue that there are calls for political action to encourage greater physical activity.Such activity must become a way of life and not be something stressful or carried out under any form of duress.

Another key finding is that boosting physical activity offers as much health benefit to a 70-plus year old man as stopping smoking.

But what level of exercise will suffice to reduce the risks of ill-health?

Research suggests regular light exercise is sufficient. There is a great deal of help and health information available here at NHS websites.

Here are some tips on keeping garden fitness…

…this time of year is encouraging many of us to work in the garden.So how can you maximise your health benefits from gardening.The following are 3 easy things to remember.
1.Take time to do some simple (not demanding) stretching exercises before you work

Follow a brisk 15 minute walk with some simple stretching exercises to help minimise back pain in the garden. Side bends and deep knee bends can help get your body prepared for your gardening work. Make sure you are properly hydrated before stretching, and only do enough exercising within your own comfort zone,and keep your back and the rest of your body limbered.You should have plenty of drinking water available while you are gardening.

2.Stop Kneeling and Bending
Back pain is almost guaranteed if you are constantly bending and kneeling down.It is common sense that the less you have to bend, the lower the risk of suffering backaches, pains and strains. Gardening seats/kneelers are available to fit any budget. They allow you to sit, rather than stand and bend. They are usually reversible, meaning that you can kneel down on the ground without getting your clothes dirty, or worrying about scratching and scraping your knees. This puts less stress on your back, which is always a good thing.

3.Hold a Proper Position and Form

When raking, keep your head up and your back as straight as possible. Adopt a scissors stance, with one foot forward and the other back, reversing this every couple of minutes. If you must bend, don’t do so at the waist. When picking up piles of leaves or weeds, make smaller piles. Bend at your knees rather than bending forward, allowing your legs to do most of the work. When using leaf blowers and other handheld, powered gardening tools, keep them close to your body. Stretching and reaching with your arms puts more pressure on your back.
So go on.

Do yourself a favour and get out of that chair more often.You know it makes sense.Your later life may depend on it.

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