Published: Wed, October 24, 2018
Medical | By Vicki Mclaughlin

Sedentary Lifestyle Worse Than Many Diseases for Long-Term Health

Sedentary Lifestyle Worse Than Many Diseases for Long-Term Health

The cardiologist said that it was striking to see that the study demonstrated how not being able to perform up to health standards on a treadmill stress test was more worrisome than being a smoker or a diabetic. He called these results as most "pronounced" and "objective" than even seen before and also said that they were "surprising".

Either way, he said that lack of physical fitness should be considered as being on par with hypertension, diabetes and smoking when it comes to health risk factors. To find the association between all-cause mortality and cardiorespiratory health in patients undergoing treadmill testing, researchers studied 122,007 patients between January 1, 1991 up to December 31, 2014, and divided them into five performance groups or levels of fitness. The lowest exercise group accounted for only 12 percent of the total participants. The paper was published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association Network Open. Jaber said that they found that there is no "ceiling for the benefit of exercise". "We can see from the study that the ultra-fit still have lower mortality".

When the subgroups were analyzed by age, the survival benefit of elite versus high performance was most notable in older patients. "Whether you're in your 40s or your 80s, you will benefit in the same way". So, there's no level of exercise that is a risk. "We all know that a sedentary lifestyle or being unfit has some risk".

Jaber noted that while the dangers of leading a sedentary lifestyle and being out of shape are well-known, he admitted that he was surprised by the study's findings which indicate that both states 'overwhelm even the risk factors as strong as smoking, diabetes or even end-stage disease'.

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Comparing those with a sedentary lifestyle to the top exercise performers, he said, the risk associated with death is "500 percent higher".

"If you compare the risk of sitting versus the highest performing on the exercise test, the risk is about three times higher than smoking", Jaber explained.

The study found that increased cardiorespiratory fitness was directly associated with reduced long-term mortality, with no limit on the positive effects of aerobic fitness. Women seemed to benefit more in terms of health when they included exercise in their routines. No age limit has been found that will not benefit from being physically active. But that isn't to say that exercise is only for people who are hoping to run a marathon.

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