18 Jul 2012
Physical inactivity increases the risk of many adverse health conditions. According to a recent analysis, lack of physical activity accounts for 6% of the global heart disease morbidity, 7% of type 2 diabetes, and 10% of breast and colon cancers. Physical inactivity caused as many as 5.3 million of the 57 million deaths that occurred worldwide in 2008.
These findings are presented in a study ”Effect of physical inactivity on major non-communicable diseases worldwide: an analysis of burden of disease and life expectancy”, published by the Lancet in a series on physical activity.
Based partly on THL’s research data, the study estimates that elimination of physical inactivity would increase the life expectancy of the world’s population by 0.68 years. The authors conclude that physical inactivity has become a major risk factor along with smoking and obesity.
According to one of the authors, professor Pekka Puska, the present study backs up the prior understanding of the significance of physical activity on public health globally.
“Altough this analysis concentrates on the effect of inactivity on mortality, we must not forget that physical activity helps us maintain our well-being and ability to function,” Professor Puska concludes.
The health sector cannot change the inactive life style of a growing population alone. All sectors and systems in each society need to work together. On the threshold of the 2012 Olympic Games, the Lancet publishes a series of studies on physical activity to highlight the significance of physical activity on public health.
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The abstract can be read on the Lancet website.
Short address: http://www.thl.fi/doc/en/30395
Updated 18 Jul 2012