Want to Live Longer? Do Chores

Simple Activity Like Cleaning the House Prolongs Your Life

Not a day goes by without seeing posts about the importance of regular exercise. Sure, physical activity is vital for good health and wellbeing, and long life, but not all people want to go to gym or jog.

Does this mean you can’t get all the perks that physical activity brings just because you’re not a regular gym-goer? Not at all! The latest study discovered that you don’t have to spend hours in the gym in order to live longer, chores will help too.

Light Physical Activity and Longer Life

Physical activity doesn’t include grueling exercises only, but any kind of movement that keeps you away from a sedentary lifestyle. Although various studies confirmed that regular physical activity leads to a longer life, they usually focused on different types of training such as cardio, strength training, HIIT, among others.

They didn’t evaluate the impact of the light physical activity on mortality and Andrea LaCroix and a team of scientists at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine aimed to change that. They carried out a study to analyze the effects of light physical activity on mortality among older women.

For the purpose of the study, scientists recruited 6382 women who were 63 to 99 years old. They followed the participants for 4.5 years. On their hips, women wore accelerometers which tracked their physical activity for seven days as they engaged in everyday tasks. During the study period, 450 women died.

Results, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society [1], showed that light physical activity brings important health benefits too.

In fact, this is the first ever study that used a device to uncover the effects of physical activity levels that don’t meet recommended guidelines. Also, the risk of chronic diseases decreased* significantly.

For every 30 minutes of light physical activity on a daily basis, the risk of mortality decreased* by 12% while the same amount of moderate physical activity reduced* the risk of death by 39%. These values remained the same even after scientists included parameters such as race and ethnicity, smoking, alcohol consumption, education, self-rated health, and comorbidities.

Adjusting Physical Activity to Your Capabilities

Cleaning the house

The research shows that you don’t have to jog, spend hours in the gym, or prepare for a marathon run in order to stay healthy and live longer. Some people don’t enjoy these activities, but there are also those who can’t perform them due to some health or functional problem.

These findings[2] give us glimpse of hope that you can improve* your health and wellbeing even by engaging in light physical activities such as chores, cleaning the house, walking to a mailbox, strolling around the neighborhood, and folding clothes.

LaCroix explains [3] that things we do every day can positively influence our health. Why? The reason is simple; chores and other light activity types account for more than 55% of how older individuals get their daily activity.

While we are always told to do certain exercises and engage in specific types of training, it is crucial to tailor physical activity to your capabilities. We’ll achieve maximum results when we take into account our fitness levels, health status, and other factors.

For example, a person who has weak and achy joints doesn’t find high-impact activities that beneficial because they only aggravate pain. This is just one example of how the choice of physical activity plays the role in benefits you gain.


The latest study discovered that light activities such as chores, walking to the mailbox, taking a walk around the neighborhood can decrease* mortality risk and reduce* the likelihood of chronic diseases.

These findings show that increasing* levels of physical activity can be of huge benefit, which is particularly beneficial for older adults and individuals who can’t engage in regular workouts due to some health problem.

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Contributor : Dr. Ahmed Zayed (Consumer Health Digest)

This Article Has Been Published on November 21, 2017 and Last Modified on August 14, 2018

Dr. Ahmed Zayed Helmy holds a baccalaureate of Medicine and Surgery. He has completed his degree in 2011 at the University of Alexandria, Egypt. Dr. Ahmed believes in providing knowledgeable information to readers. Other than his passion for writing, currently he is working as a Plastic surgeon and is doing his masters at Ain Shams University. You can connect with him on Linkedin.

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