Even a little light physical activity can dramatically reduce your likelihood of losing your ability to carry out tasks of daily living and your independence.
We know that moderate exercise is good for your health but what if your physical status makes moderate exercise difficult? Would you benefit from light physical activity? A new study involved people 49 and older who had knee osteoarthritis or were at risk of developing it.
As the bar chart above shows, the answer is YES! Activity was tracked by an accelerator attached at the waist. Those who moved the least were significantly more likely to become disabled within 2 years. Disability was defined as the inability to carry out the tasks of daily living. All it took to ward off disability was light movement, like housework or moving about the house or yard for 30 minutes per day.
To generalize the results, if you have a condition that keeps you from going to the gym or doing brisk walking each day, you can still get benefits from light activity. The challenge is to find activities you can do and do them daily. Got knee pain? Get in a swimming pool and walk around. Or, sit while using some light hand weights for upper body exercise.
Sedentary behavior is not just bad for people with risk factors. It can have negative health impacts even if you go to the gym regularly.