Lack of Exercise More Deadly Than Obesity, Study Suggests
Monday, March 02, 2015 02:28 PM

Being sedentary may be twice as deadly as being obese, a new study suggests.

However, even a little exercise -- a brisk 20-minute walk each day, for example -- is enough to reduce the risk of an early death by as much as 30 percent, the British researchers added.

"Efforts to encourage small increases in physical activity in inactive individuals likely have significant health benefits." The risk reduction was seen in normal weight, overweight and obese people. "We estimated that eradicating physical inactivity in the population would reduce the number of deaths twice as much as if obesity was eradicated.”  From a public health perspective, it is as important to increase levels of physical activity as it is to reduce the levels of obesity -- maybe even more so, he added.

The study is a reminder that being both fit and lean are good for health. "These are not really disparate challenges, since the physical activity that leads to fitness is also a way of avoiding fatness," researchers said.