News & Insights 26 January 2022

Just 10 minutes more moderate to vigorous activity a day could save lives

We can all find 10-minutes a day to move more, whether that is between work meetings or taken from the time you would usually spend watching TV in the evenings. What if we told you that finding just that small amount of time would be enough to increase your lifespan and reduce the risk of dying?

A study of over 4,800 Americans aged 40 to 85 found that approximately 110 000 deaths per year could be prevented by adding just 10-minutes extra moderate to vigorous intensity activity a day, and an increase of 20 or 30 minutes could lead to even more lives saved; the study noted.

“Increasing moderate to vigorous physical activity by 10, 20, or 30 minutes per day was associated with a 6.9%, 13.0%, and 16.9% decrease in the number of deaths per year, respectively. Adding 10 minutes per day of physical activity resulted in an estimated 111 174 preventable deaths per year, with greater benefits associated with the addition of more physical activity.”

In the UK, this would translate to around 10,000 fewer deaths for 10 more minutes of physical activity, Public Health England suggests.

The recommended guidelines for physical activity say we should aim for 150 minutes of moderate activity a week, which for some of us sounds like a lot and it can be difficult to find time to fit this into a busy schedule. However, this new revelation proves that even a small, manageable increase in daily physical activity can have massive benefits to your health. This makes improving your health accessible and realistic for everyone and doesn’t need to feel like a big task.

‘Moderate to vigorous’ is a term that may also sound daunting to some people, especially those with long-term conditions or mobility problems. However, you would be surprised at the activities that could be classed as moderate-intensity for you, and it does not mean that you need to go for a sprint to increase your health and lifespan. Moderate-intensity activities are those that increase your calorie burn to 3 or more times the number of calories you burn when you’re resting. The most popular and accessible form of moderate activity is ‘brisk’ walking (at least 3mph) which is something that is achievable for most people, other forms of moderate activity include:

• Gardening
• Housework e.g., sweeping or vacuuming
• Washing dishes
• Washing the car
• Cutting the grass
• Cycling under 10mph
• Gentle swimming
• Water aerobics
• Fishing
• Golf
• Dancing e.g., ballroom or line dancing

Hopefully there is something on that list that appeals and can be easily added into your daily routine, it may even persuade you to do some chores that you have been putting off! And even if none of these examples are for you, there will be something in your everyday life that is moderate-intensity, and you could do more of that. Remember, every move really does matter.

Here at KiActiv®, we aim to empower you to make these positive changes to your physical activity profile within the context of your own day-to-day life. Our personalised mentoring programme aims to educate you on the value of your everyday movement, optimising your activity levels to maximise these long-term health benefits. Finding that extra 10 minutes a day to do some moderate activity is something that is achievable for all of us, and can help you live a longer, healthier life.

The KiActiv® Team