Lazing in bed this morning with my iPad, I saw that the big health story of the day is a scientific study which shows how inactivity can really fuck you up. And then there’s the inevitable spEak You’re bRanes comments complaining about nanny statism.
The study, published in The Lancet, shows that a lack of exercise causes as many deaths as smoking. In their paper, Harvard Medical School researcher I-Min Lee and her colleagues say that around a third of adults are leading unhealthy, sedentary lifestyles.
Critics might say that the study doesn’t tell us anything that we don’t already know, but it contains data that will likely be useful in health planning and wider epidemiological research. For example, the researchers estimate that, on a global scale, physical inactivity is responsible for 6% of the burden of coronary heart disease, 7% of type 2 diabetes, 10% of breast cancer, 10% of colon cancer, and 9% of premature mortality. This is important stuff.
Not so important, but quite amusing, is the following gem of sloppy editing contained in Nick Triggle’s BBC News report…
“And they said tackling it required a new way of thinking, suggesting the public needed to be warned about the dangers of inactivity rather than just reminded of the benefits of it.”
To be fair, inactivity no doubt results in a significantly lessened risk of sports-related injuries. Though maybe not Athlete’s Foot.