Monday 18 December 2017

Inactivity 'as bad' for people as smoking

Jeremy Laurance

SITTING about doing nothing is as damaging to health as smoking, doctors say.

Physical inactivity may be responsible for as many as one in 10 deaths worldwide -- mainly from heart disease, diabetes and breast and bowel cancer.

If exercise -- such as brisk walking for 30 minutes, five days a week -- could be bottled, it would be a miracle cure. A series of research papers published in 'The Lancet' yesterday show that millions of lives could be saved if people were stimulated by the spirit of the Olympic Games to get active.

About a third of adults globally and four out of five adolescents are doing so little they put themselves at significantly greater risk of disease.

Britain has one of the most inactive populations with 63pc of adults failing to do enough. Better street lighting, cycle lanes and more green space can boost activity levels by 50pc. Simple measures such as signs encouraging people to use the stairs rather than the lift also help.

Irish Independent

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