Why light housework might be the key to a longer life

(Image credit: Bosch)

Common household chores like vacuuming, washing the dishes, and mowing the lawn can dramatically reduce the risk of an early death, a new study led by the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences claims. 

Drawing on data from more than 36,000 participants across the US, UK and Scandinavia, the analysis concluded that just 24 minutes of moderate activity each day was enough to prolong the average person's life expectancy.

The findings were published in the BMJ and took into consideration eight previous studies, in which participants wore an accelerometer on their waist to gauge their movements levels over several years.

Accelerometers are a type of motion sensor commonly found in the best smartwatches, as well as featuring in many smartphones.

Bust a move

In total, the study monitored the health of 36,383 adults aged 40 or over for an average period of approximately six years. Of these, more than 2,500 people sadly died whilst participating in the research.

While 24 minutes of daily activity was deemed the optimal level for improved physical health, 9.5 hours of of sitting down each day was identified as the 'danger zone' where an increased risk of death came into play.

“These findings really reinforce the saying ‘Doing something is better than doing nothing,” said Dr Charlotte Edwardson, associate professor at the University of Leicester, one of the academic institutions involved.

So, next time you're wondering if you can afford one of the best robot vacuums, you might want to remember that good old fashioned elbow grease is often a worthy substitute for a fancy home gym or expensive treadmill.

James Laird

A technology journalist with nearly 10 years of experience, James is the former News and Features Editor at Trusted Reviews, and has also served as regional Editor of Lifehacker. His articles have been spotted on sites ranging from The Sun to InStyle, but his true love is shiny things and the story behind them. An avid golfer in his spare time, you'll also regularly catch him hovering over the BBQ listening to Pearl Jam.