The benefits of moderate exercise were significant - or almost 20% in reducing CVD risk - over not exercising, says Shifali Goenka, a specialist in non-communicable diseases at the Public Health Foundation of India, and who independently reviewed the study.
The finding confirms much of what has already been discovered from research done in wealthy nations.
While physical activity in leisure time was common in high-income countries (an average of 130 minutes per week), it was rare in other regions (25 minutes a week in lower-middle income countries and no time spent in this way in upper-middle- and low-income countries).
The PURE study, which is the largest of its kind, is significant because it includes middle- and low-income countries and does not focus exclusively on leisure time. But almost two in five did 150 minutes each day.
His team estimated that if the entire population met these guidelines, one in 12 early deaths could be prevented and 4.6 per cent of heart disease cases averted.
A new study claims that if everyone was active for at least 150 minutes per week, eight per cent of global deaths over seven years would be prevented. The advice on muscle-strengthening exercise is that it should be performed at least twice each week. The study found that 18 percent of people did not meet the physical activity guidelines, but 44 percent were highly active.
In the USA, the figure is much higher, with that most adults (around 79 percent in 2014) are not meeting the recommended levels of physical activity.
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide and a major economic burden globally.
"Physical activity represents a low-priced approach to preventing cardiovascular disease and our study provides robust evidence to support public health interventions to increase all forms".
The 'Prospective urban rural epidemiology (Pure)' study involving more than 1,30,000 people from 17 countries (including four states in India), scientists demonstrated any activity is good for people to meet the current guideline of 150 minutes a week, to raise the heart rate.
"Cardiovascular disease is known to have devastating effects on individuals and families".
The 17 countries taking part in the study were: Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, India, Iran, Malaysia, Pakistan, Poland, South Africa, Sweden, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and Zimbabwe.
There was also no such thing as "too much exercise", and working out an hour-or-so over the minimum meanteven more protection against CVD, including death from cardiovascular disease, heart attack, stroke, or heart failure, and reduced overall mortality in the sample of people studied.
They also found that the reductions were the same regardless of the type of physical activity that people did.