Watch Out, Inactivity Could Be a Killer

Smoking is generally considered to be the leading lifestyle choice that results in untimely deaths; however, a recent study shows that inactivity is now causing just as many deaths around the world as smoking. This study, conducted by a team of 33 researchers and published in The Lancet, found that inadequate physical activity is the culprit behind 5.3 million deaths per year. This breaks down to approximately one in ten deaths linked to diseases like diabetes, colon cancer, heart disease and breast cancer.

The general public is often reminded of the benefits of using an outdoor gym, walking regularly or maintaining an active lifestyle; however, researchers from the study note that the problem of inactivity is so great it should now be approached as a pandemic, including public warnings about the dangers linked to a lack of exercise. The research team also suggests that governments should take additional steps to promote physical activity by finding ways to make it safer, more affordable and more convenient. This could include providing increased access to conveniently located outdoor gym options.

The general recommendation for maintaining a lifestyle that is active enough to enjoy the benefits of exercise and avoid the dangers of inactivity includes adults partaking in 150 minutes of moderate activity per week, such as cycling, brisk walking or using an outdoor gym. While comparing activity levels in different countries is difficult, due to how activity is defined, the study found that those residing in countries with higher incomes had the lowest levels of activity. Even with the expanding interest in outdoor gym workouts, the UK ranked among the least active in the world with researchers finding that almost two-thirds of adults in the UK do not take adequate exercise.

One way to work towards rectifying this situation is to increase access to exercise opportunities by providing safe, convenient outdoor gym options that can be used by adults and children across the UK, something for which we at Caloo have been campaigning about for some time.