Inactivity Deadlier Than Obesity

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Want to live a longer, healthier, happier life? It’s easy, move! Inactivity puts your health at a major risk. In fact, according to a new large scale European study, inactivity is twice as deadly as obesity. Let’s put that into perspective. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), obesity is a common risk factor for heart disease and stroke, some cancers (endometrial, breast, and colon) and diabetes. In the United States, heart disease is the #1 cause of death accounting for 23.71% of deaths, cancer is #2 at 22.92% (obesity is linked to endometrial, breast and colon which account for approximately 27% of cancer cases in women and 8% in men), stroke is #4 at 5.12% and diabetes is #7 at 2.93%. There is no denying that being obese is a tremendous danger to your health.

As deadly as obesity is, inactivity is deadlier. The study encompassing 334,161 men and women over a period of 12 years took a look at mortality rates compared to activity and BMI trends. It showed that twice as many premature deaths may be due to inactivity compared to the deaths associated with obesity. Those not performing any sort of activity were at risk for mortality regardless of if they were normal weight, overweight or obese. Mortality was decreased by 16-30% in the moderately active group compared to the inactive group across the board for all weight classifications. A 20 minute brisk walk every day would classify you in the moderately active group.

So what can you do? Be active! Go for a walk! Do lunges while you watch TV! The possibilities are endless! All I want is for each and every one of you to be active every single day. If you’re not an active person, start slow, build into it. If you’re skinny and think oh that makes me healthy, it doesn’t. You need to be active as well. Being active might be the best “medicine” you’ve ever been “prescribed.” The study showed that even a little bit of activity is beneficial as opposed to being inactive. Stay healthy and active my friends!

-Dr. Brian Damhoff