Sedentary Lifestyle is Dangerous to Your Health
Physical Inactivity is Hazardous to Your Health
|James H. Rimmer, Ph.D., Director
- People who are physically inactive have an increased risk of colon and breast cancer. One study showed a 40% decrease in cancer mortality in persons who were physically active compared to those who were inactive.
- Physical activity helps prevent insulin resistance, the underlying cause of type 2 diabetes. A recent study reported that for every 2 hours that a person watched TV, the risk of type 2 diabetes increased 14%.
- Regular physical activity helps reduce the risk of cognitive decline. One study reported that there was a 50% reduction in the risk of dementia in older persons who maintained regular bouts of physical activity.
- People who are sedentary have the highest rate of heart attack. In the Nurses' Health Study, women who were physically active 3 hours or more per week (half an hour daily) cut their risk of heart attack in half.
- Stroke, which is often referred to as a brain attack, affects approximately 730,000 people annually. Data from the Aerobics Research Center in Dallas, Texas, found that physically active men lowered their risk of stroke by two-thirds. And in the Nurses' Health Study, physically active women decreased their risk of stroke by 50%.
- Lack of physical activity increases the loss of lean muscle tissue, making activities of daily living (dressing and bathing) and instrumental activities of daily living (grocery shopping, performing transfers) much more difficult to perform. Loss of vital lean muscle tissue also makes it more difficult to maintain body weight.
- Bones, like muscles, require regular exercise to maintain their mineral content and strength. Bone loss progresses much faster in people who are physically inactive.
- People who don't perform regular physical activity are more likely to become depressed. Physical activity is a good way to reduce mood swings and helps a person maintain a sense of emotional well being.
- People who don't get regular physical activity are more likely to gain excess weight. One study showed that an hour of walking daily cut the risk of obesity by 24%.
- People who get regular physical activity have a more efficient immune system, which helps ward off various disease and illnesses such as colds and the flu.
For more information on how to get started in a physical activity program that is right for you, contact one of our information specialists at 1-800-900-8086.