Many health experts have already categorized obesity as a chronic disease that can lead to premature death. It is considered as a major contributor to type 2 diabetes, a host of metabolic disorders, hypertension and cardiovascular diseases, and a number of cancers. However, this new study reveals something far more evil than an above-normal waist circumference and BMI.
The study conducted by University of Cambridge researchers point out that the lack of physical activity doesn't only make you at risk of premature death, but it also worsens it.
For the study, more than 330,000 adults participated. Within the next 12 years, they tracked down their level of physical activity and obtained their measurements, such as their weight, waist, and height. Within the period too, around 21,000 of the 330,000 eventually died.
When researchers assessed the death causes, they realized that those who hardly had any physical activity died quite quicker than the participants who performed a moderate-level exercise. In fact, they were 16% less likely to die than the other group whose risk was around 30%. Moreover, exercise benefitted not only the normal-weight participants but even the ones who had a high body mass index (BMI), which is one of the ways to measure obesity. On the other hand, by being more active, you may bring down your premature death risk by almost 8%.
But how much effort should you put on physical activity in order to prevent early death? It turns out it's not as complex or difficult as you'd like to think. According to the researchers, all you need is to spare at least 20 minutes of your time to do some brisk walking (or walking significantly faster than normal). This is a form of cardiovascular exercise that improves your oxygen intake and strengthens your lungs and heart over time, as you do it consistently.
You can read more about the study in the latest issue of American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.