Light physical activity reduces risk of disability: study

 Chicago – Even light physical activity such as pushing a shopping cart or vacuuming – when done daily – may help reduce a person’s risk of disability, according to a new study. 

Researchers from the Center for Healthcare Studies at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine examined 1,700 participants 45-79 years old who were free of disability but at risk of disability from knee arthritis.

Participants were asked to wear an accelerometer around one hip during waking hours for one week, with the device measuring the intensity of the person’s daily activities.

Researchers followed up with participants two years later about any disabilities that had developed. Participants who spent more than four hours a day doing light physical activity had a more than 30 percent reduction in their risk of developing a disability, compared with less-active participants.

The study was published in the April 29 issue of BMJ.