By Alison Kennedy Hand, FPH Wellness Director
Recently, we learned about an important study found in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). This study showed that a sedentary lifestyle was worse than smoking, diabetes and heart disease. A senior author of the study, Cleveland Clinic cardiologist Dr. Wael Jaber, said, “being unfit on a treadmill or in an exercise stress test, has a worse prognosis, as far as death, than being hypertensive, diabetic or being a current smoker.”
This is important to know as we age, especially when some seniors think physical activity isn’t as important as it was when they were young. Dr. Jaber said he has never seen research as pronounced and as objective as this. The study essentially proves that being sedentary, also known as unfit, should be considered as strong of a risk factor as hypertension, diabetes and smoking, if not stronger than all of them.
The study reported in JAMA looked at 122,007 patients who had an exercise treadmill test between January 1, 1991 and December 31, 2014 to measure all cause of mortality relating to the benefits of exercise. The study showed that fitness leads to longer life and that the benefits of exercise were seen with all ages in both men and women.
When looking at the risk of death, a sedentary lifestyle or being unfit, was worse than the other risk factors such as smoking or end stage disease. In fact, the researchers report compared the risk of sitting against high performers on a treadmill test and found that the mortality risk of a sedentary lifestyle is three times greater than smoking. THREE TIMES GREATER!
What does this study tell Americans? We need to get up and move more. Being sedentary is bad for your health!
Source: AMA Network Open, October 19, 2018.doi:10.1001/jamanet-workopen.2018.3605
Cardiology Abstract By: Kyle Mandsager, MD; Serge Harb, MD; Paul Cremer, MD; etc.