Staying active seems like a given health benefit—a necessity, not a revelation. Sitting at a desk all day can prove to drastically harm your health, and periodic exercise can provide a muscle-pumping respite from all the monotony. Although training for a half-marathon may be a great way to stay in shape, even if you aren’t an avid runner, light weekly exercise can prove to provide plenty of extra years on your life, according to Vox.
How light is that exercise? Just under two and a half hours per week, according to a global study from The Lancet. The research involved compiling data on the physical activity of over 130,000 adults from 17 countries of low, middle, and high incomes. The benefits to just 150 minutes of activity every week include a 28 percent lower risk of premature death and a 20 percent lower risk of developing heart disease, the world’s most prevalent killer. (Here are some other tips for preventing heart disease.)
The beautiful thing about the study is that it has a very loose definition, so one person’s walk on the shore of Poyang Lake in China could be another person’s romp in a Chuck E. Cheese ball pit in Toledo, Ohio.
“I would dispel the notion of having to put out money to be active,” said Dr. Scott Lear, the study lead author and a professor at Simon Fraser University’s Faculty of Health Sciences in Canada, told Vox “Our findings indicate that nonrecreational activity—work, housework, active transportation—is just as beneficial in reducing the risk for premature death and heart disease.”
No need for a gym membership, but then again, most Americans wouldn’t go to one even if you paid them. So hit the park, and bring your kid—after all, it can really help boost their brainpower.