World’s fourth biggest killer is inactivity

Inactivity world's fourth biggest killerDo you walk for less than nine minutes a day? Most Brits do, contributing to a rise in inactivity-related deaths and making it the world’s fourth biggest killer.

One quarter of adults in the UK now walk for less than nine minutes a day, a figure which includes walking to and from the car, around shops and in the home. This amounts to just one hour of walking over the whole week – not enough to stay healthy.

The figures come from a YouGov poll of 2,000 over 18s for the Ramblers, published exclusively in The Independent on Sunday.

Medical authorities say adults should do at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity (i.e. walking) a week. Unfortunately nearly half of those surveyed were 30 minutes or more short of this recommendation.

Exercise and health specialist (and GP) William Bird said: “We’re going to find this generation will die earlier than their parents if they don’t start doing basic movement.”

The consequences of not exercising include diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Dr Bird encourages other doctors to tell their patients about the importance of movement for health, as he believes it should be a priority – not something at the bottom of their list. If everybody walked regularly throughout the day, it would have a massive impact on the health of the country (and the amount of money spent by the NHS on inactivity related conditions).

The World Health Organisation now ranks physical inactivity as the fourth biggest killer in the world behind obesity, high blood pressure, tobacco and high blood glucose.

British walking charity Ramblers is launching a ‘walking revolution’ to get 100,000 more Brits up from their couches and onto their feet.

Walking is an effective way of preventing the onset of disease. To find out more about preventative measures and therapies available for good mental and physical health, please visit our Therapies Topics page.

View and comment on the original Independent article.

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Zoe Thomas

Written by Zoe Thomas

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