Healthy Monday: Just a Daily 20 Minutes Brisk Walk can reduce Early Death by 30%, Cambridge Study Reveals
“Healthy Monday is our way of kicking off the week with useful health tips, information or news put together by our team of Health Consultants.”
We all know that periodic exercise is an important component of a healthy lifestyle because of its associated benefits in helping to lose weight, boost energy levels, and even fight against certain health conditions and diseases. In last week’s edition of our Healthy Monday, we also pointed out that exercise additionally helps in combating insulin resistance. Click HERE if you missed it!
However, how deadly “a lack of exercise” is in our daily lives may not have been fully discussed. According to a new study by Cambridge University, it was discovered that living a sedentary life may actually be twice as deadly as being obese. Even a little exercise such a brisk 20-minute walk on a daily basis is sufficient to reduce the risk of an early death by as much as 30 percent, according to the British researchers. The report was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition on January 14.
“Efforts to encourage small increases in physical activity in inactive individuals likely have significant health benefits,” said Ulf Ekelund, a senior investigator scientist in the Medical Research Council Epidemiology Unit at the University of Cambridge.
To conduct the study, Ekelund and his colleagues collected data from 334,000 men and women over an average of 12 years of follow-up, and measured height, weight, waist circumference and self-reported levels of physical activity in each of the individuals. Ekelund’s group found that a moderate amount of physical activity, when compared with none, was the key to lowering the chances of premature death. It was also reported that the risk reduction was seen in normal weight, overweight and obese people.
The researchers estimated that performing any form of exercise that burns between 90 and 110 calories on a daily basis could reduce the risk of an early death by between 16 percent and 30 percent. They also noted that the effect of moderate exercise was greatest among individuals with normal weight , but even overweight and obese people saw an observed benefit. Additionally, using the most recent data on deaths in Europe, Ekelund’s team were able to estimate that 337,000 of the 9.2 million deaths of European men and women were linked to obesity. However, twice that number of deaths could also be connected to lack of exercise.
“We estimated that eradicating physical inactivity in the population would reduce the number of deaths twice as much as if obesity was eradicated,” he said. From a public health perspective, it is as important to increase levels of physical activity as it is to reduce the levels of obesity — maybe even more so, he added.
“The message from this study is clear and simple — for any given body weight, going from inactive to active can substantially reduce the risk of premature death,” said Dr. David Katz, director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center. “These are not really disparate challenges, since the physical activity that leads to fitness is also a way of avoiding fatness,” Katz further said.
Have a healthy week!
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