It only takes a few minutes a day to stay healthy and live longer.

By Andrea Romano
January 10, 2021
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A longer, healthier life takes less effort than you might think.

According to new research from the Norwegian School of Sports Medicine, just 11 minutes of moderate exercise can give you some long-term health benefits and longevity, Metro reported.

The study itself sampled over 44,000 men and women for a period between four and 14 and a half years, during which 3,451 participants died (7.8% mortality rate). Using activity monitors to measure "moderate-to-vigorous" physical activity, scientists used these calculations and compared them to participant's time while sedentary.

Over all, people who worked out 35 minutes a day saw the biggest results in terms of health, especially joint health, but the study also showed that people who exercised at least 11 minutes a day could also see some benefits, Metro reported.

Credit: Getty Images

Sedentary lifestyles certainly have a strain on people's health. While sitting may seem harmless, being stuck in a chair at least eight hours a day for work could be hazardous to long-term health. In fact, a study published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, showed that people who work desk jobs are twice as likely to die early.

11 minutes is definitely a lot less time than most previous studies reported to have real health benefits, however, this recent study concluded that past studies relied on "self-reported exposure data," which means they worked off of people's recollections of physical activity rather than hard data. And, of course, human memory can prove faulty.

"Self-reported assessment of physical activity and sedentary behaviours is prone to misclassification and socialdesirability bias, likely underestimates sedentary time, and has limited validity for estimating both light-intensity and total amount of physical activity," it says in the study.

So, luckily, moving around and breaking a light sweat every day is easier than committing to 90-minute workouts. Some examples of moderate exercise include brisk walks, major cleaning (such as vacuuming or mopping), mowing the lawn, or taking a light bike ride, according to Harvard University.

And as an even bigger boost, spending some time in nature while you move around can also improve your mental health as well as physical health.

Andrea Romano is a freelance writer in New York City. Follow her on Twitter @theandrearomano.