What You Need to Know:
“Sitting is the new smoking” is a popular phrase, but is it true that a sedentary lifestyle is just as dangerous for your health as smoking? Globally, nearly 10% of premature mortality is caused by inactivity. Physical inactivity is directly related to several diseases including obesity, diabetes, osteoporosis, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, stroke, depression, anxiety, colon cancer, breast cancer, and uterine cancer. Yet, 30% of adults are physically inactive and 80% of teens report less than 60 minutes of moderate physical activity daily. Inactivity rates are higher in wealthy countries and in females.
A large retrospective cohort study published last month supports the belief that physical inactivity is associated with increased morbidity and mortality rates. Conversely, this research demonstrated that persons with extreme cardiorespiratory fitness had the lowest risk-adjusted all-cause mortality. Researchers were concerned with previous studies that identified adverse cardiovascular findings in persons who regularly engaged in intense physical exercise, but these latest results favor intense activity.
Sedentary behavior is a modifiable risk factor that can have a positive impact on the health of patients. The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, second edition recommend that adults participate in 150 – 300 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 - 150 minutes of vigorous intensity aerobic exercise each week. Strength training is also recommended twice weekly for all major muscle groups.
Read more about the risks of a sedentary lifestyle:
Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine, 20e: Chapter 401. The Metabolic Syndrome > Sedentary Lifestyle
CURRENT Diagnosis and Treatment 2019: Chapter 1. Disease Prevention and Health Promotion > Prevention of Physical Inactivity
Hurst’s the Heart, 14e: Chapter 108. Women and Ischemic Heart Disease: An Evolving Saga > Physical Inactivity
CURRENT Diagnosis and Treatment: Family Medicine, 4e: Chapter 30. Osteoporosis