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Lack of exercise is as deadly as smoking – Study

Filed under: Health & Nutrition,Latest News |
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It is common knowledge that smoking is hazardous, but did you know that inactivity can be as harmful for your health as smoking?  A report published in Journal Lancet warns that inactivity is killing almost as many people as smoking is.  10 percent of premature deaths worldwide are due to lack of exercise.

Heart disease, type2 diabetes, breast cancer, and colon cancer were identified as the main diseases closely related to inactivity.

The report explains that inactivity is a direct risk factor for heart disease because lack of exercise contributes to abnormalities in blood pressure, cholesterol ratio, and triglycerides and increases the likelihood of obesity and several more conditions.  These disorders severely impair heart function resulting in serious heart complications.  Furthermore, inactivity encourages insulin resistance which can eventually develop into type2 diabetes.

cyclingInactivity and breast cancer correlate because people carry excess belly fat when they do not exercise, and the metabolic activity of belly fat triggers breast cancer tumor growths.  Apparently, a sedentary lifestyle also causes fewer than normal bowel movements hence accumulation of waste which stimulates abnormal growths in the colon, resulting in colon cancer.

This report further argued that a mere 10 percent increase in activity may save up to 533 000 lives a year worldwide while 1.3 million lives can be saved by a 25 percent increase in exercise.  More importantly, it was found that the general life expectancy would tremendously rise if all had to get active.

Inactivity tends to be higher in high income countries than in low income countries, and reliance on modern conveniences such as driving was cited as a major reason for widespread inactivity.

Skeptics of this study contend that even though the number of deaths from smoking almost equals the number of deaths from inactivity, far fewer people smoke than are sedentary.  So the percentage of smokers who die due to the habit is way higher than the percentage of sedentary people who die of that habit, making smoking more deadly than inactivity.

However, everyone agrees that inactivity is a deadly habit that needs to be corrected to the best of a person’s ability.

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