Exercise can’t keep disease at bay if individuals are mostly sedentary

Healthy weight loss tips often include regular exercise. However, even periods of intense physical activity may not help people achieve optimal well-being if they spend most of their time sitting down.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that 25 percent of Americans lead sedentary lives, defined as taking fewer than 5,000 steps each day. Moreover, 75 percent do not meet the exercise recommendations, which suggest that individuals engage in 150 minutes of moderate activity each week.

A group of researchers from the CDC, led by assistant professor John Thyfault, found that even regular workouts did not decrease the risk of chronic disease for inactive people.

“If people can add some regular movement into their routines throughout the day, they will feel better and be less susceptible to health problems,” Thyfault said. “In the long term, they may not see big changes in the mirror, but they will prevent further weight gain.”

He and his team suggested that people take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk to a colleague’s office rather than phoning them and taking short strolls during the day to help increase the number of steps they take.



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