If you needed more reasons to get off your butt and get exercising, here it is. According to a new study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, a sedentary lifestyle has an impact on the risk of death that is second only to smoking.
“Low physical capacity is a greater risk for death than high blood pressure or high cholesterol”
“Low physical capacity is a greater risk for death than high blood pressure or high cholesterol,” said lead author Dr. Per Ladenvall of the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
The study took into account data gathered from a sample of 792 men born in 1913. In 1967, the men were asked to do an exercise test that measures their aerobic capacity. The men were then followed up until 2012, at the age of 100 years. Data on deaths were taken into account as well.
“We found that low aerobic capacity was associated with increased rates of death,” Dr. Ladenvall explained. “The effect of aerobic capacity on risk of death was second only to smoking.”
According to studies, 1 in 10 deaths worldwide is caused by physical inactivity. That’s 5.3 million deaths linked to inactivity annually.
“We have come a long way in reducing smoking,” Dr. Ladenvall said. “The next major challenge is to keep us physically active and also to reduce physical inactivity, such as prolonged sitting.”
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