Daily activities

Simple daily activities – like washing dishes – reduce the risk of heart disease in older women

Daily activities like washing dishes reduce the risk of heart disease in older women.

Seniors, running or brisk walking isn’t the only way to reduce the risk of heart disease. Simply being “active” by performing routine activities, called movements of daily living, including housework, gardening, cooking, and personal care activities like showering, can significantly benefit your health. cardiovascular health.

Compared to women who move less than two hours a day in daily life, women who move at least four hours in daily life have a 43% lower risk of cardiovascular disease, a 43% lower risk of coronary heart disease, a 30% lower coronary heart disease. stroke and, in particular, a risk of death from cardiovascular disease reduced by 62%.

Report in the February 22, 2022 online edition of Journal of the American Heart Associationa multi-institutional team led by researchers from the Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science at the University of California, San Diego studied the impact of daily movements on the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Infographic about daily life movements and cardiovascular disease

Movements of daily living include all activities performed while moving on one’s feet during activities such as housework, gardening, cooking, and personal care activities. Credit: Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science at the University of California, San Diego

“The study demonstrates that all movements matter for disease prevention,” said first author Steve Nguyen, Ph.D., MPH, postdoctoral researcher at the Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health. “Spending more time in the movements of daily living, which includes a wide range of activities that we all do while standing and out of our chairs, has resulted in a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease.”

The researchers used a machine learning algorithm to categorize each minute spent awake into one of five behaviors: sitting, sitting in a vehicle, standing still, daily motion, walking, or running. Movements of daily living encompass activities that occur when you stand and walk around a room or patio, such as getting dressed, preparing meals, or gardening.

Andrea LaCroix

Andrea LaCroix, Ph.D., MPH, professor emeritus and head of the Division of Epidemiology at the Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health. Credit: University of California San Diego

As part of the Women’s Health Initiative Objective Physical Activity and Cardiovascular Health study, researchers measured the physical activity of nearly 5,416 American women, ages 63 to 97, who did not have heart disease at onset. of the study.

Participants wore a research-grade accelerometer for up to seven days to get accurate measurements of the time they spent moving and, importantly, common types of behaviors in everyday life that drive movement and aren’t often included in previous light and moderate movement studies. -to vigorous-intensity physical activity. These earlier studies typically focused on the intensity and duration of activities such as running and brisk walking, while the current study measured smaller movements at varying intensity during activities such as cooking.

Steve Nguyen

Steve Nguyen, Ph.D., MPH, postdoctoral researcher at the Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health. Credit: University of California San Diego

Cardiovascular disease continues to be the leading cause of death for both women and men in the United States, with the highest rates among adults age 65 or older.

In this study, 616 women were diagnosed with cardiovascular disease, 268 with coronary heart disease, 253 had a stroke, and 331 died of cardiovascular disease.

“Much of the movement done by older people is associated with the tasks of daily living, but it may not be considered physical activity. Understanding the benefits of daily life movement and adding it to physical activity guidelines can encourage more movement,” said lead author Andrea LaCroix, Ph.D., MPH, professor emeritus and division chief of epidemiology at the Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health. .

Reference: “Machine-learning-graded accelerometer-derived daily life movement and the incidence of cardiovascular disease in older women: the OPACH study” by
Steve Nguyen, John Bellettiere, Guangxing Wang, Chongzhi Di, Loki Natarajan, Michael J. LaMonte and Andrea Z. LaCroix, February 22, 2022, Journal of the American Heart Association.
DOI: 10.1161/JAHA.121.023433

Co-authors include: John Bellettiere and Loki Natarajan, UC San Diego; Guangxing Wang and Chongzhi Di, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center; and Michael J. LaMonte, University at Buffalo – SUNY.

This research was funded, in part, by the National Institute on Aging (P01 AG052352, 5T32AG058529-03) and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (R01 HL105065). The Women’s Health Initiative was funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (75N92021-D00001, 75N92021D00002, 75N92021D00003, 75N92021D00004, 75N92021D00005).

Disclosures: LaCroix served as a paid consultant on an NIH grant for the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.