Doing moderate exercise even for short amounts of time is still good for your heart- and your health according to new research.
Academics estimate that just two and a half hours of cycling or brisk walking every week is enough to lower heart disease risk by 14 per cent.
However they add that people who do even more exercise will be healthier.
The Department of Health recommends that adults carry out at least 150 minutes of “moderate-intensity aerobic activity” each week as well as “muscle-strengthening activities” twice a week.
Jacob Sattelmair, of the Department of Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health in America, said: “The overall findings of the study corroborate federal guidelines – even a little bit of exercise is good, but more is better – 150 minutes of exercise per week is beneficial, 300 minutes per week will give even more benefits.”
His paper, published in the journal Circulation, looked at 33 previous academic studies of physical activity and heart disease, nine of which measured leisure activity quantitatively.
Analysis suggested that those who engaged in 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a week had a 14 per cent lower risk of coronary heart disease than those who reported taking part in no exercise.
However those who took more exercise had an even lower risk.