Inactivity as Bad as Smoking

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Getty Images
    Television show host Ellen Degeneres does sit-ups after running with the Olympic Torch in Los Angeles in 2004. Every little bit helps...

    The Olympics are upon us, reminding every just how much we hate exercising (even when we have interesting and slightly insane ways of doing it). Obviously, this doesn't apply to all Americans, but it does to an overwhelming lot. Well, we should be careful, since a new study shows inactivity kills as much as smoking.

    Most everyone with eyes or ears is familiar with the benefits of exercise. Those are touted constantly, but not many studies have taken on the detriments of not exercising. Researchers from 16 countries got together to publish a series of articles in the Lancet on just this.

    Turns out, inactivity kills as many people every year as smoking, according to the study. That's 5.3 million deaths a year.

    The most common causes of death for those not receiving the recommended 150 minutes of moderate aerobic physical activity per week is coronary heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, bowel cancer and breast cancer.

    Of course, as is often the case with this type of study, the figures were self-reported. Harvard Medical School's Dr. I-Min Lee said of the study, "Our estimates of ill-health from lack of physical activity are, if anything, on the low side."

    So, while watching the Olympics this year, be sure to take a break now and then to jog around the neighborhood!

    Via BBC