WASHINGTON - If housework isn't your favorite thing to do, you're certainly not alone.
But there's new research that shows everything from washing dishes to doing home repairs can help you live longer.
The New York Times reports researchers in Europe followed a group of British civil servants for 10 years to monitor the effects of their daily working lives. Those who engaged in intense activity, such as painting and repairing their homes, enjoyed more protection against premature death than those who washed dishes or did other work around the house that is considered mild.
But, physical activity of any kind was associated with longer life.
Another study by The European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, which ended recently, found similar results. The study followed cyclists for 18 years. Those who reported "riding hard" lived four of five years longer.
Other studies in recent years mirrored these results.
Ultimately, Dr. I-Min Lee, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, tells the New York Times, "physical activity, even at a modest level, can increase life expectancy."
So if can push yourself a bit harder the next time you paint a room at your house, do it. But if you can't, that's OK. Even slow painting or cooking a meal will do you body good.
WTOP's Veronica Robinson contributed to this report. Follow and @WTOP on Twitter.
(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)