Physical inactivity is responsible for more than twice as many deaths as obesity. A recent study of both men and women over a 12 year period of time clearly determined that inactivity does indeed lead to an untimely death. Increasing your activity level to 20 minutes a day of brisk walking is enough to significantly reduce your risk of death. This was true in those who were obese and normal weight as indicated in the study.
Other recent research indicates that sitting for more than two hours at a time can significantly lessen your life span. Even if you regularly exercise, sitting for more than two hours a day will still lower your life span. Frequent movement throughout the entire day is critical for your health.
Research is clear on the topic of activity. We are designed to be mobile. Regular activity has been clearly shown to:
- Reduce the risk of diabetes.
- Reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
- Improve bone density.
- Increase and maintain muscle strength, which is strongly correlated to independence in your environment and reducing the risk of falling.
- Improve and maintain balance, which is critical to reducing the risk of falling.
- Maintain proper hormone levels.
- Reduce stress.
- Increase feelings of well-being.
- Reduce pain levels.
This is not an exhaustive list of the benefits of regular activity. Exercise and regular activity are critical to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Frequent activity and movement throughout the day is best. Choose a form of activity and exercise that you enjoy and keep it as part of a lifelong pursuit.
What is your favorite form of exercise? Please leave your comments below.
Looking for relevant senior related resources in your community? The Seniors Blue Book is full of relevant resources for seniors as well as helpful articles on successful aging and elder care.
If you have a question that you would like featured in an upcoming blog post, please comment below or submit your question to contact@thePhysicalTherapyAdvisor.com. Be sure to join our growing community on Facebook by liking The Physical Therapy Advisor!
(This article first appeared in the Seniors Blue Book, October-December 2015, pages 106 and 107.)