This is not the first time a study has talked about the effect of physical activity on heart health; though it might be one of the first studies done on such a massive scale and over a longer duration.
As per a 2010 study: More activity is associated with a lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease when compared to less physical activity. Although there may be a threshold over which activity levels convey greater risk, only those who are totally sedentary (i.e., “weekend warriors”) or who have pre-existing health conditions are at risk for acute CV events with sudden, vigorous-intensity physical activity. “The gradual introduction of activity combined with physician evaluation prior to starting an exercise program may mitigate these risks,” the study suggests.
A 2003 study published in Circulation journal of AHA stressed on the risk that a sedentary lifestyle poses on the human heart. “A sedentary lifestyle is one of the 5 major risk factors (along with high blood pressure, abnormal values for blood lipids, smoking, and obesity) for cardiovascular disease,” the study said and had suggested walking, golf playing, calisthenics, gardening, cycling, swimming and climbing hills among various physical activities one should do.