Study finds inactivity almost as bad as smoking

Whether you do advanced exercises, such as this renegade row with a kettle bell performed by At Home Fitness blogger Aaron Dorksen, or just briskly walk or work in the yard, it can help your health immensely. A new study reported in The Lancet says that inactivity is almost as bad for people as smoking.

When it comes to exercise, we need to flip the switch about how we think about it. Instead of talking about the benefits of exercising, it’s even more important that we stress the dangers of inactivity.
That’s according to The Lancet medical journal, which reported recently that urgent action is needed to tackle what it calls “the pandemic of inactivity”.
A new study reported in the Lancet estimates that about a third of adults do not get enough physical activity.
And here’s the kicker – the death toll from inactivity is only slightly lower than that for smoking.
A team of 33 researches from health centers around the world found that lack of activity is causing nearly a tenth of premature deaths worldwide, or 5.3 million deaths a year.
Not surprisingly, the Lancet study found people in higher income countries were the least active.
It’s recommended that adults do 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week, such as brisk walking, cycling or gardening. To step up the aerobic exercise, work out on a treadmill, elliptical machines, exercise bike, etc.
Inactivity dramatically increases the risk for heart disease, breast and bowel cancer, diabetes and more diseases.
Everyone should get at least 2 1-2 hours of moderate aerobic exercise a week. Before people think “no way do I have time” or “I can’t do that” they should realize that moderate exercise can include walking, gardening or even brisk housework.
The key is just do something beside sit around. And do it for a minimum of 2 1-2 hours a week. Additional exercise can help you more.
According to The Lancet study, though, only about a third of adults worldwide meet that exercise minimum and a fifth of people say they work up a sweat only once a month.
Lead researcher Dr I-Min Lee, from Harvard Medical School, said: “Am I surprised that it’s comparable to smoking, no. Only about one quarter of the world’s population smoke, but about two thirds are inactive.”
Dr. Lin said he hopes that one day soon people who don’t exercise will be looked on in a similar manner as those who smoke. Becasue people in both groups are making very poor health choices.

At Home Fitness consultant Aaron Dorksen’s blog deals with a variety of fitness topics, ranging from workout tips, motivational ideas and feature stories on how exercise impacts people’s lives. E-mail him with comments, questions or ideas for future blogs at