Just as deadly as smoking causing more than five million deaths
A new study reveals how largely inactivity not only affects our health but is associated to death in comparable amounts of that from smoking.
In terms of world-wide physical inactivity was linked with 6% incidence of coronary heart disease, 7% of type 2 diabetes, 10% of breast cancer and 10% of colon cancer according to online report in The Lancet.View slideshow: Easy Physical Activities
Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School researchers found that not participating in physical activity (exercise) for 150 minutes a week as recommended by the CDC was associated with 5.3 million deaths world-wide in 2008. This equals around one in ten deaths from diseases such as coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and breast and colon cancer.
The burden of physical activity measures were obtained through several large cohort studies world-wide using input from the Lancet Physical Activity Series Working Group including information on predominance of physical activity at baseline and incidence of death and relevant non-communicable diseases.
The research team does offer some hope in the dismal circumstances by suggesting if physical activity rates were decreased by just 10% world-wide as many as 553,000 lives could be saved. If inactivity was decreased by 25% the number of lives saved increases to 1.3 million.
Researchers from the University of Tennessee mention that there are some health measures which can be taken to achieve those numbers.
Greg W. Heath, DHSc., MPH, University of Tennessee stated in a journal release "Because even moderate physical activity such as walking and cycling can have substantial health benefits, understanding strategies that can increase these behaviors in different regions and cultures has become a public health priority.”
Heath and fellow associates focus attention on possible benefits of mass media campaigns which are designed to promote physical activity.
Dr. Pedro Hallal, PhD, researcher Federal University of Pelotas, consultant for the Brazilian Ministry of Health in the field of physical activity and health and one of the lead researchers commented "With the upcoming 2012 Olympic Games, sport and physical activity will attract tremendous worldwide attention.
"Although the world will be watching elite athletes from many countries compete in sporting events... most spectators will be quite inactive.
"The global challenge is clear - make physical activity a public health priority throughout the world to improve health and reduce the burden of disease,” as reported by the BBC News.
This report appears in the Lancet.
When it comes to physical activity 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise is recommended by the CDC. Just in case you’re wondering on how to get those 150 minutes in the CDC notes do a little bit at a time, even 10 minute sessions can help you achieve the recommended level.
According to the New York Department of Health only about 22 percent of Americans report regular sustained physical activity (activity of any intensity lasting 30 minutes or more 5 times a week). Fifteen percent of Americans report vigorous activity (activity intense enough to make the heart beat fast and hard breathing for at least 20 minutes or more 3 times a week). Thus, improvements in physical activity can be gained in all segments of society.
According to Michigan’s Surgeon General’s Health Status Report 2010, when it comes to healthy lifestyles, such as physical activity, healthy weight and nutrition, Michigan has room to improve. Over 50% of adults reported participating in physical activity less than the recommended thirty minutes a day. Twenty-five percent reported they participated in no leisure time physical activity at all.