Why You Should Make Physical Activity Part of Your Daily Routine

Ajax chiropractors Dr. John Noble and Dr. Mark Fera encourage you maintain an active lifestyle.

How much time do you spend in front of a computer screen or sitting at a desk?
According to a recent study published in the medical journal The Lancet, being physically inactive comes at a price and could be causing as many deaths worldwide as smoking and obesity.
As part of a series on inactivity published in a lead-up to the 2012 Summer Olympics, the study examines the effect physical inactivity has on major diseases such as heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, breast and colon cancer and life expectancy.

Using data collected worldwide in 2008, researchers found that physical inactivity causes:
  • 6% of heart disease cases
  • 7% of Type 2 diabetes cases
  • 10% of breast cancer cases
  • 10% of colon cancer cases
  • 9% of premature deaths — more than 5.3 million deaths of the 57 million deaths globally in 2008.
The Lancet researchers encourage people to be told about the dangers of physical inactivity instead of just the benefits of exercise. Why the clarification? Probably because there’s a huge difference in a message that says Your Lack of Exercise Could Be Killing You versus More Exercise Will Make You Healthier. Which message would get you off the couch and moving more?

Researchers also urged governments to find ways to make physical activity more convenient, affordable and safer.

To understand the correlation between smoking and obesity and physical inactivity, the study asked How does physical inactivity compare with other risk factors for poor health?

“Although risk factors are classified on different scales (thus, the proportion at risk varies across risk factors), it is nonetheless informative to look at two established risk factors targeted for government action worldwide: smoking and obesity.

Smoking was estimated to cause 5 million deaths worldwide in 2000. The proportion of deaths attributable to smoking in China, one of the top five cigarette-consuming countries, has been estimated at 3.1% for women and 12.9% for men. By elimination of smoking, life expectancy at age 50 years was estimated to increase by 2.3-2.5 years in the U.S. population and 1.2-2.2 years in the populations of nine other high-income countries…As for obesity, if all obese people in the U.S. were to attain normal weigh, life expectancy in the population was estimated to increase by 0.7-1.1 years at birth in one analysis and 0.5-0.7 years at age 50 years in another. Thus, physical inactivity seems to have an effect similar to that of smoking or obesity.”

In The Lancet report, researcher I-Min Lee from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and her co-authors acknowledged that not everyone is capable of being physically active and concluded the paper with this comment:
“This summer, we will admire the breathtaking feats of athletes competing in the 2012 Olympic Games. Although only the smallest fraction of the population will attain these heights, the overwhelming majority of us are able to be physically active at very modest levels–15 to 30 minutes a day of brisk walking–which bring substantial health benefits.”

At Ajax-Pickering Village Chiropractic, we encourage our patients to maintain an active lifestyle. To slowly integrate physical activity back into your day, read our Fit-in-15 series of posts here, here and here. To book a chiropractic assessment with Dr. John Noble or Dr. Mark Fera, call our office at 905-427-3202.