According to research just released by the University of Cambridge, a lack of exercise is responsible for twice as many early deaths as
obesity. This 12-year study of more than 300,000 people puts a new
‘weight’ on the importance of activity in the fight for better health
for people around the world.
The University of Cambridge said about 676,000 deaths each year were due to inactivity, compared with 337,000 from carrying too much weight. In the article from BBC News, “The greatest risk [of an early death] was in those classed inactive, and that was consistent in normal weight, overweight and obese people,” Professor Ulf Ekelund, one of the researchers, told BBC News. Ekelund said eliminating inactivity in Europe would cut mortality rates by nearly 7.5%, or 676,000 deaths, but eliminating obesity would cut rates by just 3.6%.
“This is exactly what we thought when we launched PHIT America two years ago,” says Jim Baugh, Founder of PHIT America, the non-profit organization focused on overcoming the ‘Inactivity Pandemic.’ “While many have been talking about healthy eating and obesity for years, the story that hasn't been told clearly and loudly enough is about the need to be more active and fit. We know obesity is a critical issue. But, we all must work together to overcome the ‘Inactivity Pandemic’ by getting people to ‘get off the couch’ or push away from their sedentary electronic devices and devote themselves to increased activity for better health. And, there's other research that has come out recently that shows an active person does better academically, as well. The benefits from increased activity are overwhelming.”
Almost three years ago, The Lancet, the leading medical journal in the world, declared there was a global pandemic: Inactivity.
“Now, with research like this, we need to be more united and outspoken to fight this issue,” continues Baugh. “That is why medical experts have said that sitting is the new smoking.”
Today, 28% of all Americans are totally inactive, based on research released by Sports Marketing Surveys USA. This includes not being active one time in the past year in 104 activities tracked by the Physical Activity Council. The trend for children is most disturbing: ten million children are totally ‘inactive’ and two-thirds of all children are ‘not active to healthy standards.’ Both numbers are increasing.
Professor Ekelund says brisk walking is all that it would take to transform health.
“I think people need to consider their 24-hour day,” notes Ekelund. “Twenty minutes of physical activity, equivalent to a brisk walk, should be possible for most people to include on their way to or from work, or on lunch breaks, or in the evening instead of watching TV.”
PHIT America has received a copy of the research for everyone to review (click here).
“We need everyone to read the study and be messengers for the importance of physical activity in our lives,” says Baugh. “On PHITAmerica.org, there is other information on the ‘Inactivity Pandemic,’ benefits to being more active, fit and playing sports as well as PHIT America's plans and programs to fight inactivity.”
Founded in January 2013, PHIT America (www.PHITAmerica.org) is a non-profit educational, social media, and advocacy campaign focused on overcoming the ‘Inactivity Pandemic’ in America by creating a Movement for a Fit & Healthy America. More than 130 companies, along with sports ambassadors and celebrities, are helping PHIT America to get Americans more active, fit and healthier.