Inactivity is more deadly than obesity

The number of deaths attributable to physical inactivity doubles the number of deaths related to obesity.

A 20-minute walk every day could be sufficient to reduce the risk of premature death – says a study published in “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition”, in which it is concluded that exercise may be more important than obesity in the prevention of cardiovascular disease in particular, and death from any cause.

The study analyzed more than 334,000 people have seen the number of deaths attributable to physical inactivity twice that of deaths attributable to obesity: and also a modest increase in physical activity could have significant benefits for health.

The work leaves a clear message: just a small amount of daily physical activity for physically inactive people gives important health benefits. Although we have seen that just 20 minutes make a difference, we should try to do more because we know that physical activity has many more health benefits. Therefore, should be an important part of our life.

It is known that physical inactivity is associated with an increased risk of premature death, besides being linked with an increased risk of diseases such as cardiovascular or cancer itself. As for obesity, meanwhile, although it may contribute to increased body mass index (BMI), it is also known that the relationship with premature death is independent of body mass index of an individual.

Researchers estimate that, according to the most recent available data on deaths in Europe, 337,000 of the 9.2 million deaths in Europe were attributable to obesity (defined as a BMI greater than 30). However, double (676,000) could be due to physical inactivity.

To measure the relationship between physical inactivity and premature death and their interaction with obesity, the researchers analyzed data from 334,161 men and women across Europe participating in the EPIC study. During an average of 12 years, scientists evaluated a number of parameters: height, weight and waist circumference and a self-assessment to measure levels of physical activity. The results showed that the greatest reduction in the risk of premature death was compared between inactive, moderately inactive groups, analyzed by a combination of activity at work with leisure activities. About a quarter of the participants (22.7%) were classified as inactive.

According to these results, the authors estimate that just a daily 20-minute walk burns between 90 and 110 kcal, which would make an inactive to moderately inactive and thus reduce their risk of premature death between 16 and 30%. Best beneficiaries were people with a normal weight, but even those with a higher BMI had a profit. Helping people to lose weight can be a real challenge and at the same time. The real, physical activity can have significant health benefits and may be easier to achieve and maintain.