Study: Not exercising may be just as bad for you as smoking

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A new study found even more research to indicate just how unhealthy the lack of exercise is. In fact, it’s almost as bad for you as smoking!

Read more: Gradually or cold turkey? Study finds the best way to quit smoking

The New York Times recently reported on the study done by researchers from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.

Though many studies have looked at physical fitness related to mortality over the short term, these study findings are significant due to the length of time the participants were monitored.

What a new study found about the health risks of not exercising

Beginning in 1963, 1,000 healthy 50-year old men agreed to be studied for the rest of their lives. Researchers wanted to know specifically the risks associated with heart disease over a lifetime. Initially researchers took measurements such as blood pressure, weight and cholesterol, and asked participants if they exercised or smoked. A few years later, the men were also tested for their aerobic capacity, or V02 max, using a stress test.

Researchers followed the men over 50 years, and participants were tested about every 10 years for VO2 max, blood pressure, cholesterol profile and history of smoking.

Although smoking was found to be the leading threat to longevity, low aerobic capacity followed closely behind. Even fit men with high blood pressure, or higher levels of cholesterol were better off than unfit men with low blood pressure or low cholesterol, according to the study.

Though the study followed Swedish men, study leader Per Ladenvall, a researcher at the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg says there is no reason to think this research cannot relate to anyone, male or female. He encouraged anyone who has struggled to maintain a fitness routine. “Even small amounts of physical activity may have positive effects on fitness, he said.

Read more: Study: Obesity can decrease your life by up to 14 years

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