While you’re likely doing your best to eat healthily, not smoke and get adequate amounts of sleep- do you remember the last time you exercised? We’re all aware of the many health benefits that come with exercising, but we are often unaware of the potential health concerns that come with living a sedentary lifestyle.
A new study has revealed how leading an inactive lifestyle could be more harmful than toxic lifestyle habits such as smoking and medical conditions that include diabetes and even heart disease.
The study on having a sedentary lifestyle
Researchers at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio attempted to find a link between aerobic exercise and mortality.
For the study, the researchers examined the data of 22,007 patients who underwent treadmill testing between 1991 and 2014. They then calculated all causes of mortality in relation to the benefits of exercise and fitness. They made sure to include age, sex, height, weight, BMI, medications, and other illnesses.
The study revealed that those who had poor results in regards to the treadmill test had a poorer outcome when it came to all-cause death rates compared to those who had hypertension, diabetes, and smoked.
Specifically, individuals who did not exercise had a 500% increased risk of death compared to those who did. Also, those who got minimal exercise faced a 390% increased risk of death, when compared to those who regularly exercised. Moreover, mortality risk was twice as high amongst individuals who didn’t exercise when compared to those who had kidney failure on dialysis.
A cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic and senior author of the study Dr. Wael Jaber found the results extremely surprising yet informative.
“Being unfit on a treadmill or in an exercise stress test has a worse prognosis, as far as death, than being hypertensive, being diabetic, or being a current smoker,” Jaber told CNN. “We’ve never seen something as pronounced as this and as objective as this.“
As if we needed any more reason to live an active lifestyle, Dr. Jaber and his team see the findings as the perfect way to motivate individuals to get active and fit. In fact, Dr. Jaber also noted how the results revealed that there is no such thing as too much exercise.
“There is no level of exercise or fitness that exposes you to risk” he stated. “We can see from the study that the ultra-fit still have lower mortality.”
As for individuals who have become accustomed to their sedentary lifestyle?
“It should be treated almost as a disease that has a prescription, which is called exercise,” he said.
Read more about the study here.