Home gardening and DIY helps protect against heart attack and stroke as much as regular exercise, a new Swedish study has found.
The 12 year study found that over 60 year olds who regularly gardened or worked on some home DIY projects had the same survival probability as those who exercised regularly but did not garden or DIY.
On entering the study, those who reported a high level of gardening or DIY activity had lower bad cholesterol and better cardiovascular health than those who said they exercised regularly. During the life of the study they were found to have a 27% less chance of having a heart attack or stroke than those who engaged in low levels of these activities, regardless of exercise, as reported in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. Even better outcomes were found in the group who both gardened and did some form of regular exercise.