A worldwide study has shown that physical activity significantly lowers the risk of heart attacks in both developed and developing countries.
The INTERHEART study found that people who exercised to any level had a lower risk of having a heart attack than people who were inactive. Those whose work involved either light or moderate physical activity also had a reduced risk of having a heart attack compared to those in sedentary occupations.
The study also found owning a car and a television was linked to an increased risk of heart attacks, particularly in low and middle-income countries. People who owned both a car and a TV, possible indicators of a sedentary lifestyle, had a 27% increased risk of having a heart attack compared to those who owned neither.
Natasha Stewart, Senior Cardiac Nurse at the British Heart Foundation (BHF), said:
“This study reminds us that we all need to be regularly active to keep our hearts healthy.
“The link between keeping active and lowering your risk of developing coronary heart disease and having a heart attack is well-established.
“We recommend at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each day, on at least five days a week. Making small changes to your lifestyle can help make a big difference to your heart health.
“Walking to the local shop rather than driving, or playing sport rather than watching it on TV, will help to work towards long term benefits for your health.
This study was published in the European Heart Journal.
www.bhf.org.uk – The British Heart Foundation is the nation’s heart charity, dedicated to saving lives through pioneering research, patient care, campaigning for change and by providing vital information. But we urgently need help. We rely on donations of time and money to continue our life-saving work. Because together we can beat heart disease.