Thursday, July 19, 2012
A report published by public-health journal The Lancet suggests living a sedentary lifestyle is now as-fatal for individuals as smoking. Compiled by 33 research workers, the report speaks of a "pandemic" in which an estimated one-in-three adults worldwide are inactive, leading to approximately 5.3 million fatalities from this.
Research for The Lancet established people in higher-income countries are more inactive than those where lower incomes prevail. The study indicated nearly two-in-three adults in the United Kingdom are not active enough. "Roughly three of every 10 individuals aged 15 years or older — about 1.5 billion people — do not reach present physical activity recommendations," states the report, publicised in the approach to the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Pedro Hallal, a lead researcher for the study, explained: "With the upcoming 2012 Olympic Games, sport and physical activity will attract tremendous worldwide attention. Although the world will be watching elite athletes from many countries compete in sporting events [...] most spectators will be quite inactive. The global challenge is clear - make physical activity a public health priority throughout the world to improve health and reduce the burden of disease." Faculty of Public Health president Professor Lindsey Davies spoke of a similar theory: "We need to do all we can to make it easy for people to look after their health and get active as part of their daily lives [...] Our environment has a significant part to play. For example, people who feel unsafe in their local park will be less likely to use it." According to BBC Health, exercising can assist in strengthening one's bones, as well as assisting with issues such as insomnia and depression.
However, BBC News Online reported the comparison of a sedentary lifestyle with smoking has been called into question, as smoking is more likely to cause death. At-issue is comparing the number of smokers with the significantly lower number of individuals living sedentary lifestyles. Dr. Claire Knight from Cancer Research UK asserts: "When it comes to preventing cancer, stopping smoking is by far the most important thing you can do."
== Sources ==
Nick Triggle. "Inactivity 'killing as many as smoking'" — BBC News Online, July 18, 2012
"Physical inactivity kills 5 million a year: report" — Agence France-Presse, July 17, 2012