The Leading News & Information Service For The Facilities, Workplace & Built Environment Community

Saturday, 19 October

Learning to Walk the Walk will Pay Dividends

Brisk 20 minute walks each day could be enough to reduce an individual’s risk of early death, according to new research published.

The Cambridge University study of over 334,000 European men and women found that twice as many deaths might be attributable to lack of physical activity compared with the number of those to obesity.

Physical inactivity has been consistently associated with an increased risk of early death, as well as a greater risk of diseases such as heart disease and cancer. Although it may also contribute to an increased body mass index (BMI) and obesity, the association with early death is independent of an individual’s body mass index (BMI).

To measure the link between physical inactivity and premature death, and its interaction with obesity, researchers analysed data from 334,161 men and women across Europe participating in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) Study.

Between 1992 and 2000, the researchers measured height, weight and waist circumference, and used self-assessment to measure levels of physical activity. The participants were then followed up over 12 years, during which 21,438 participants died.

The results have been published now in the American Journal of Clinical Exercise and the findings have found that the greatest reduction in risk of premature death occurred in the comparison between inactive and moderately inactive groups, judged by combining activity at work with recreational activity.

Just under a quarter (22.7%) of participants were categorised as inactive, reporting no recreational activity in combination with a sedentary occupation.

The authors estimate that doing exercise equivalent to just a 20 minute brisk walk each day – burning between 90-110kcal (calories) – would take an individual from the inactive to moderately inactive group and reduce their risk of premature death by between 16-30%.

Using the most recent available data on deaths in Europe the researchers estimate that 337,000 of the 9.2 million deaths among European men and women were attributable to obesity (classed as a BMI greater than 30): however, double this number of deaths (676,000) could be attributed to physical inactivity.

“Although we found that just 20 minutes would make a difference, we should really be looking to do more than this – physical activity has many proven health benefits and should be an important part of our daily life,” explained Professor Ulf Ekelund, Medical Research Council (MRC) Epidemiology Unit at the University of Cambridge, who led the study.

 

Picture: Brisk 20 minute walks each day could be enough to reduce an individual’s risk of early death.

Article written by Cathryn Ellis

Share


Related Tags


Related Articles

Menopause Screening A Life Saver

Health screening for women as they hit the menopause may be a life saving intervention say doctors. Menopause expert Miss Tania Adib, a consultant gynaecologist at...

 Read Full Article
Measuring the Cost of Stress in the Workplace

Pressure is part and parcel of most work environments and to an extent, our modern way of life. At an appropriate level, pressure can help us to maintain our motivation...

 Read Full Article
Nine to Five & Five to Nine - We Want the Airwaves

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has encouraged leading TV and radio broadcasters to work with him to help inform Londoners in particular and the country as a whole about...

 Read Full Article
Railway Hell - It's Time To Boot The Commute

After the recent rail disruption with more to come, Graham Bird explores the effects of a daily commute and explains how the rush-hour race can be reduced. ...

 Read Full Article
Healthy Offices - the Board Convenes

The British Council for Offices (BCO) has announced this week ending April 28 that it is commissioning a major research study 'Wellness Matters: health and wellbeing...

 Read Full Article
Speaking-up About Difficult Conversations

A Chartered Institute of Professional Development (CIPD) report has found that 53% of managers are not trained or qualified to handle ‘difficult...

 Read Full Article
Smoking and Drinking - Encourage One But Not the Other

March 13 marked the start of Nutrition and Hydration Week - March 13-19. This yearly awareness campaign aims to highlight and promote improvements in the provision of...

 Read Full Article
Middle Age and Modern Life - Obesity the New Normal

PHE’s (Public Health England) One You campaign was launched at the end of January to help middle age people live more healthily by asking ‘How are you?’...

 Read Full Article
High Anxiety - True Cost of Stress in the Workplace

The Stress Summit 2017 is set to take place on March 16 at London's QEII Centre. Half a million workers across Britain are suffering from work-related stress,...

 Read Full Article
Dads Take The Penalties - Employers Miss Their Goals

The UK is running the risk of creating a ‘fatherhood penalty’ – as fathers consider stalling or side-lining their careers to find roles they can better...

 Read Full Article