Lack of exercise more deadly than overweight?

Lack of exercise more deadly than overweight?

Lack of exercise is more deadly than obesity
17.01.2015

Almost 340,000 people die in Europe every year from the consequences of overweight and obesity. According to a new study, about twice as many deaths are due to a lack of physical activity. A little bit of daily exercise could help many people.


Significant health risk Numerous studies in recent years have scientifically confirmed that severe obesity poses a significant health risk. Increased body weight goes hand in hand with an increased risk of diabetes, cardiovascular problems such as heart attack, high blood pressure or coronary artery disease, cancer and many other health problems. Lack of exercise is often a cause of obesity. A new study now concludes that lack of physical activity is much more dangerous than being overweight.


Physically Inactive Risk of Premature Death As researchers at Cambridge University found, people who are physically inactive are at twice the risk of premature death than obese people. The researchers around Ulf Ekelund evaluated data from the "European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition study", for which 334,161 Europeans were observed over a period of twelve years. The subjects' waist circumference, size, weight and their sporting activities were recorded. In addition, every death within the twelve years was recorded. A total of 21,438 participants died.

Sedentary work and no sport after work. The comparison of the different risk groups showed that the inactive had the greatest risk of premature death. The participants in this group, who made up around a quarter of the respondents, stated that they were primarily seated at work and did not practice any sport or any other form of movement after work. According to them, the risk of premature death is 16 to 30 percent higher than that of people who are at least "somewhat active". The connection was strongest among normal weight people, but it was also present among overweight people. The researchers' results were recently published in the American Journal of Clinical Excerise.

20 minutes of walking a day According to the experts, of the approximately nine million deaths per year in Europe, over 330,000 are consequences of obesity (BMI of more than 30), but lack of exercise is more than 670,000. Study author Ekelund said in a message from the university: "This is a simple message: traveling a little bit of physical activity every day can bring inactive people considerable physical benefits." According to his statement, just 20 minutes of fast walking every day make the difference. Movement should be integrated into everyday life as an important part of life.

Significantly increasing life expectancy A study from Taiwan came to similar conclusions last year. As the German Society for Sports Medicine and Prevention (DGSP) announced at the time, a large study from the East Asian country had shown that just 15 minutes of normal daily exercise are sufficient to significantly increase life expectancy compared to inactive people. The effects were said to be even better if the pace was increased. (ad)

Photo credit: Lupo / pixelio.de

Author and source information



Video: Reversing Type 2 diabetes starts with ignoring the guidelines. Sarah Hallberg. TEDxPurdueU