WASHINGTON – If ticking off a long “honey-do list” of home projects feels like a lousy way to spend a weekend, take heart – it may keep you alive longer.
A new study from Sweden says older adults who do home and garden activities regularly may cut their risk of heart attack and stroke.
The study of adults 60 and older says those who engage often in home and garden projects are 27 percent less likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke over a 12-year period, regardless of whether they did other exercise, according to the Live Science website.
The around-home activities included mowing the lawn, pruning the hedges, car maintenance and gathering berries.
Those who did home and garden activities often were 30 percent less likely to die from any cause, compared with those who didn’t do them frequently, according to the study.
Researchers say the study does not prove higher levels of home and garden activities were the cause of the lowered risk for heart attacks and strokes.
The best results were seen by those who both exercised and did the do-it-yourself projects.
Still, the researchers say the findings could be important, because older adults sometimes often have difficulty doing more strenuous exercise.
Researchers in the Oct. 28 issue of the British Journal of Sports Medicine write, “Promoting everyday (home and garden activities) might be as important as recommending regular exercise for older adults.”