Not Doing This Activity Regularly Can Be Worse for You Than Smoking

Motivation to tie your shoes and start moving.

Courtesy of  Igor Emmerich / Getty Images 

By Meredith Lepore 

Don’t feel like exercising today? May as well pick up a cigarette it turns out. According to new research published in the journal JAMA Network Open, not working out regularly can be even worse for your health than smoking.

The researchers looked at 122,007 patients from 1991 to 2014 observing them as they worked out on treadmills and then looking at mortality rates. They found a very strong connection between a healthy and regular amount of exercise and a longer lifespan.

“Cardiorespiratory fitness is inversely associated with long-term mortality with no observed upper limit of benefit,” the study says. “Extremely high aerobic fitness was associated with the greatest survival and was associated with benefit in older patients and those with hypertension.”

Now, this is not groundbreaking news, but what was really significant is that a sedentary lifestyle was linked to a higher mortality rate than someone who smoked, had diabetes or was hypertensive. Dr. Wael Jaber, the co-author of the study, said: “We’ve never seen something as pronounced as this and as objective as this.”

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