You know how even when you're not doing absolutely everything you should be doing to keep yourself healthy, you comfort yourself by thinking about the bad things you could be doing but aren't doing? Sorry, that was confusing. Here's an example of the kind of self-soothing thought process I'm referring to: "Well, I know I should be getting way more exercise but, hey, at least I don't smoke or anything."
Yeah, about that. Bad news: According to a recent study, physical inactivity causes just as many deaths per year as smoking. What?! That hardly seems fair. I thought smoking was supposed to be like, THE worst thing you could do to your body. Now it turns out that spending too much time on the couch with your feet up is just as bad?!
Pretty much, yes. Researchers discovered that "inactivity leads to 5.3 million deaths each year, equating to one in 10 deaths caused by diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and colon cancer." Furthermore, "one-third of adults worldwide are not doing enough physical activity."
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(I suppose we can assume that the other two-thirds are smoking.)
The thing is, as incredibly difficult as it is to quit smoking, it's also really difficult to add regular exercise into a schedule that's probably already packed with long hours of sitting at a desk job interrupted by long hours of driving in a car for various and endless reasons, all of them necessary. What are we supposed to do, re-organize modern life to accomodate things like middle-of-the-day Pilates classes and encourage more people to use walking as their main mode of transportation?
Hmmm. One in 10 deaths? 5.3 million deaths each year? I guess that's exactly what we're supposed to do. Or I should say, exactly what we HAVE to do.
I'm definitely going to probably try, anyway. Most likely by next week. (At least I don't smoke do bath salts! That's gotta be worse than being lazy, right?)
Are you surprised to hear that physical inactivity is as bad for you as smoking?
Image via Jason Burrows/Flickr