Not Exercising Is Worse for Your Health Than Smoking, Says Study

Yes, we’ve all heard enough about how exercise is extremely important for good health. But ever thought the effects of not exercising on your body could be comparable to the effects of smoking? That’s what a new study has done. It found that a sedentary lifestyle is worse for your health than smoking, diabetes and heart disease.

Dr Wael Jaber, a cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic and senior author of the study, called the results "extremely surprising." Speaking to CNN, Jaber said:

"Being unfit on a treadmill or in an exercise stress test has a worse prognosis, as far as death, than being hypertensive, being diabetic or being a current smoker. We’ve never seen something as pronounced as this and as objective as this."

He said that people should take not exercising or being unfit to be as strong a risk factor for ill health as hypertension, diabetes and smoking – if not stronger than all of them. It (being unfit) should be treated almost as a disease which has a medicine called exercise.

Researchers retrospectively studied 122,007 patients who underwent exercise treadmill testing to measure all-cause mortality relating to the benefits of exercise and fitness.

The study was published Friday in the journal JAMA Network Open.

Jaber said the other big revelation from the research is that fitness leads to a longer life, with no limit to the benefit of aerobic exercise. Researchers have always been concerned that "ultra" exercisers might be at a higher risk of death, but the study found that not to be the case.

The study showed that the ultra-fit still have lower mortality compared to those who don’t exercise at all. So, there’s no level of exercise that is a risk.

Comparing those with a sedentary lifestyle to the top exercise performers, the risk associated with death is 500 percent higher and comparing somebody who doesn't exercise much to somebody who exercises regularly showed a risk 390 percent higher.

If all the advice over the years still didn’t motivate you, this is your cue to get moving!

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