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Leisure time physical activity has been shown to be better than work related physical activity for your health.
Before undertaking any physical activity program, always consult your primary care physician, if you have been inactive for several months.



Leisure-Time Physical Activity Associated With Reduced Risk of Heart Disease
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) May 28 - Findings from a new study offer more evidence that leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) helps ward off coronary artery disease, while work-related physical strain (WRPS) appears to promote it. The reason for the second finding is unclear, the study authors note, but other investigators have reached similar conclusions. "The different characteristics of physical activity associated with work and leisure-time physical activity might be one explanation for the opposite relations with (heart disease) risk," they write in the May 26th issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine. Physical strain on the job, they note, "is probably long-lasting and mainly static," while exercise on one's own time is "mainly short-lasting and dynamic in nature." The study involved 312 people, 40 to 68 years of age, with heart disease and 479 similarly aged control subjects. All were asked about leisure-time physical activity during summer and winter and any physical strain at work. Overall, people with coronary heart disease reported less leisure-time exercise and more physical strain on the job than those with healthy hearts, study author Dr. Wolfgang Koenig, from the University of Ulm in Germany, and colleagues note. For example, exercising more than 2 hours a week in the summer was associated with a 61% lower risk of heart disease when compared with not exercising at all. In contrast, heavy physical strain on the job was associated with a nearly five-fold increased risk of heart disease compared with no strain at all. Blood tests of the study participants revealed that those who exercised during leisure time had lower levels of inflammatory markers, such as C-reactive protein. This finding provides further support to the idea that exercise protects against heart disease by reducing inflammation, the researchers note.

Arch Intern Med 2003;163:1200-1205.
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