Get Moving! Lack Of Exercise Twice As Deadly As Being Obese

First Posted: Jan 15, 2015 04:02 PM EST

Many of our New Year's resolutions might involve losing a pound or two and keeping it off. Yet did you know a sedentary lifestyle could be twice as deadly as being overweight or obese?

New findings published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reveal that even a brisk 20-minute walk each day is enough to reduce the risk of early death by 30 percent.

"Efforts to encourage small increases in physical activity in inactive individuals likely have significant health benefits," said lead author Ulf Ekelund, a senior investigator scientist in the Medical Research Council Epidemiology Unit at the University of Cambridge, via Health Day.

Researchers noted the risk reduction in normal weight, overweight and even obese people who started becoming more active. (And of course, exercising also promotes weight-loss.)

"The message from this study is clear and simple -- for any given body weight, going from inactive to active can substantially reduce the risk of premature death," said Dr. David Katz, director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center.

For the study, researchers collected data from 334,000 men and women over a 12-year span, tracking their height, weight, waist circumference and self-reported levels of physical activity.

Findings revealed that a moderate amount of physical activity when compared with no activity was enough to lower the chances of early mortality.

Researchers estimate that exercise that burns anywhere between 90 and 110 calories a day could help to reduce the risk of premature death by 16 to 30 percent. So maybe go and take a walk? 

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