Not Exercising May Be More Deadly Than Obesity

New study finds a sedentary lifestyle could double the risk for premature death

We can all easily come up with plenty of excuses not to exercise, but perhaps one of the best reasons to make sure that you incorporate some movement (even just a small amount) into your day on a regular basis has been outlined in a new study, which found that not exercising is likely more detrimental to your health than being obese.

In other words, the study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, which examined data including height, weight, waist circumference, and self-reported activity levels from 334,000 men and women over about 12 years, found that a sedentary lifestyle may increase the risk of premature death by about 50 percent when compared with being obese.

“We estimated that eradicating physical inactivity in the population would reduce the number of deaths twice as much as if obesity was eradicated,” Ulf Ekelund, the study’s lead author and a senior investigator scientist in the Medical Research Council Epidemiology Unit at the University of Cambridge, told Web MD.

According to WebMD News, researchers found that even a moderately-paced 20-minute walk daily may suffice as enough exercise to reduce the risk of premature death by up to 30 percent.

“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," Dr. David Katz, director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center told Web MD.

Results from the data revealed that exercisers who burn between 90 and 110 calories a day could reduce the risk of premature death by anywhere from 16 to 30 percent.