To Your Health
July, 2008 (Vol. 02, Issue 07)
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Feel Better in Just 20 Minutes a Week

By Editorial Staff

A mere 20 minutes a week of any physical activity, including housework or gardening, will boost mental health, according to a large study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. The researchers surveyed almost 20,000 men and women about their mental state and how much physical activity they did per week.

It turns out any form of daily physical activity was associated with a lower risk of distress. The range of beneficial activities included housework, gardening, walking and sports. The strongest effect was seen for sports, which lowered the risk of distress by 33 percent.

image - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark Results also indicated that as little as 20 minutes of activity per week improved mental state. As you might expect, the more activity a person indulged in, the lower their chances of psychological distress. And obviously, there are physical benefits to increasing one's physical activity.

The researchers stated, "Mental health benefits were observed at a minimal level of at least 20 minutes per week of any physical activity, although a dose-response pattern was demonstrated with greater risk reduction for activity at a higher volume and/or intensity."

So grab your vacuum cleaner or your gardening trowel and spend at least 20 minutes brightening up your house or your yard, as well as your mental state!