If you think smoking is bad for your health, you should consider being a couch potato just as dangerous.
A new study published in the journal Lancet found that one-third of adults aren`t getting enough exercise, and that inactivity is now causing just as many deaths per year as smoking – approximately 5.3 million worldwide. It also estimated that one in 10 deaths caused by heart disease, diabetes, and breast and bowel cancer are the result of inactivity.
Co-author of the study, Dr. I-Min Lee, reported that being inactive can increase your risk of many serious diseases, including diabetes, heart disease and even cancer.
Ming stressed that physical activity is crucial because it benefits almost every physiological system in the body. “By moving,” she said, “we improve our health. Everything that gets worse when you get older, gets better by being more active.” She proposed that by simply walking briskly for 15-30 minutes a day, we can significantly improve our health.
Exercise is considered a powerful medicine in itself, capable of preventing major diseases and providing such benefits as improved heart, cardiovascular and bone health. It`s recommended that adults get 2.5 hours of moderate activity every week, which equates to about 30 minutes of exercise five days a week. Activities could include anything from cycling to running or even brisk walking.
Researchers also proposed that governments take more responsibility in this issue, saying they should work to find more ways to make being physically active more convenient, affordable and safe.