Spending your free time plopped in front of the TV or computer? New research shows you may be able to lower your chances of heart disease by using just a small amount of that free time on simple physical activity such as brisk walking, riding a bike or even gardening or housework.

The research found that middle-aged adults who were more active in their leisure time had lower levels of internal indicators of inflammation of the arteries. People with less inflammation tend to have lower risk of heart disease.

Almost half of participants in the study met the American Heart Association’s recommendations for cardiovascular health – 2½ hours of moderate to vigorous physical activity a week. However, this rose to 83 percent later in the study as more participants reached retirement and had more leisure time.



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Researcher Information:

Mark Hamer, Ph.D., study lead author and associate professor of epidemiology and public health at University College in London.