Sedentary Lifestyle More Responsible Than Obesity As A Cause of Early Death

Research just published by the University of Cambridge in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition finds that a sedentary lifestyle is responsible for twice as many early deaths as obesity.  Importantly, they also  found that  modest activity such as a 20 minute walk every day reduces that risk significantly.

The study included  over 330,000 Europeans, both men and women. Over 12 years, the researchers measured height, waist circumference, body weight and  estimated  levels of physical activity.

The researchers estimated that 337,000 of the 9.2 million deaths amongst European men and women were attributable to obesity. Yet double this number of deaths (676,000)  were attributed to physical inactivity.


What is of great practical importance is that the data showed that their is the greatest reduction in risk of premature death as one moves from the inactive to the moderately inactive study group.  Twenty three of participants were categorized as inactive, with no recreational activity  combined with a sedentary occupation. The study estimates that doing exercise equal to just a 20 minute brisk walk each day takes an individual from the inactive to moderately inactive group and reduces their risk of premature death by between 16 to 30%.

Professor Ulf Ekelund at the University of Cambridge, lead researcher of the study says: “This is a simple message: just a small amount of physical activity each day could have substantial health benefits for people who are physically inactive. ” Professor N. Wareham,  adds: “Helping people to lose weight can be a real challenge, and whilst we should continue to aim at reducing population levels of obesity, public health interventions that encourage people to make small but achievable changes in physical activity can have significant health benefits and may be easier to achieve and maintain.”

“For more of the latest in nutritional/ lifestyle research check all of my blog posts at www.drsobo.com/blog

For the best care in Integrative Medicine call Henry C. Sobo, M.D., at 203-348-8805 or write us at [email protected]




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