The Loh Down On Science

Why D-I-Y is g-o-o-d for us!

Ekblom-Bak et al., Brit. J. Sports Med., 2013

Notice how the relative risk (risk compared to another group of people) of death from all causes decreases as you go from low non-exercise physical activity (NEPA) to moderate NEPA to high NEPA.

Hey seniors:  Pick berries, live longer!

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

A bit of gardening or a DIY project can cut your risk of heart attacks. Maybe even prolong your life!  So says a new study from Karolinska University Hospital in Sweden. 

Researchers had over four thousand men and women, aged sixty, fill out a questionnaire about their exercise habits—and their level of non-exercise physical activity.

We call those hobbies—things like home repairs, fishing, gardening, and berry-picking (a Swedish favorite).  Each person was then monitored for an average of twelve and a half years.

During that time, nearly 500 of the group had heart attacks, and nearly f400 died of various causes.  The good news?  Regardless of exercise, people with higher hobbying levels cut their risk of heart attack or stroke. By 27 percent!  And they had a 30 percent lower chance of death from all causes.

It seems hobbies expend energy, which increases metabolic rates and strengthens hearts.  

Especially hearts filled with the joy of picking flugelberries!  And assembling IKEA furniture.  Ach ja!

***** For more 90-SECOND SCIENCE FACTS, click here.*****

The Loh Down on Science is produced by LDOS Media Lab, in partnership with the University of California, Irvine, and 89.3 KPCC. And made possible by the generous support of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.


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