What’s worse—not getting any exercise or smoking? Well according to a new study, they’re equally bad.
The LA Times reports that people across the world are falling so far short on exercise that the problem has become a global pandemic, causing nearly a tenth of deaths worldwide--and killing roughly as many people as smoking!
The troubling new findings come from a series of studies published in the medical journal Lancet.
Eight out of 10 youngsters ages 13 to 15 don't get enough exercise, and nearly a third of adults fall short.
The problem is even worse for girls and women, who are less active than boys and men.
The results are fatal. Lack of exercise is tied to worldwide killers such as heart disease, diabetes and breast and colon cancer.
According to the researchers, if just a quarter of inactive adults got enough exercise, more than 1.3 million deaths could be prevented worldwide annually. Half an hour of brisk walking five times a week would do the trick.
In some countries, at least 60% of the adult population fell short on exercise.
North and South America scored badly, as did the area east of the Mediterranean covering countries such as Iraq, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia;
Countries in Africa and Southeast Asia were the most active. In fact, get this--people over the age of 60 in Southeast Asia were more active, on average, than teens and young adults in North America and Europe.
Do you think it might be time to turn off the TV? And the computer? And video games and i-pads? I’m gonna go take a walk!
I’m Bill Maier for WBCL.