The latest research is adding to the growing body of evidence which suggests that moderate amounts of alcohol offer health benefits.
According to the new research the heartening news is that people who drink moderate amounts of alcohol and are physically active have a lower risk of death from heart disease and other causes than people who are teetotal.
The Danish researchers say people who neither drink alcohol nor exercise have a 30-49 per cent higher risk of heart disease than those who either drink, exercise or do both.
The study is the first to examine the combined influence of leisure-time physical activity and weekly alcohol intake on heart disease.
The team of researchers used data from a the Copenhagen City Heart Study taken between 1981-1983 on various health-related issues such as exercise and alcohol intake.
The information concerned 11,914 Danish men and women aged 20 or older and it was found that during 20 years of follow-up there were 1,242 cases of fatal ischaemic heart disease (IHD) and 5,901 deaths from all causes among the study participants.
The research was supervised by Professor Morten Gronbaek, Director of Research of the National Institute of Public Health at the University of Southern Denmark in Copenhagen, and Professor Berit Heitmann, Director for Research of the Institute of Preventive Medicine at Copenhagen University Hospitals.
They say the study shows that for both men and women being both physically active and drinking a moderate amount of alcohol is important for lowering the risk of both fatal IHD and death from all causes and drinking alcohol was associated with a lower risk of fatal IHD than abstaining.
They say a weekly moderate alcohol intake reduced the risk of all-cause mortality among both men and women, whereas the risk among heavy drinkers was similar to non-drinkers.