The Deadly Exercise Myth


walking on treadmill

Exercise is important… but an hour doesn’t make a whole day

Did you go for a jog this morning or plan a workout at the gym this evening?

If so, that’s great… but if you think that’s going to keep you from dying a premature death you could be wrong.

Dead wrong.

According to a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, those who sit for over six hours a day have a significantly higher mortality rate regardless of how much they exercise.

After reviewing the records of over 120,000 adults studied from 1993 to 2006, researchers found sitting for over six hours a day corresponded with a 37% increase in mortality for women and 18% for men.

But that’s not all. Those who failed to fit any real physical activity into their schedule at all were much worse off. Men who skipped exercise altogether and sat around instead had nearly a 50% greater risk of dying than those who sat around less than 3 hours a day, while risk of death for women doing the same nearly doubled.

A similar study out of Australia found watching TV for four or more hours a day increases your risk of dying by almost 50% over those who watch TV for just two hours a day.

Now if you’re one of those who think exercise is a 4-letter word, there’s still hope for you. Because the solution is simple.

Get out of your chair.

While exercise is important, simply getting up and moving around rather than sitting for hours on end improves your odds of living another year.

So yes, it’s comfortable and convenient to just sit down and glue yourself to the television or computer screen. But if you think getting out of your chair is inconvenient, try dying. Never convenient.

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Patel, AV, et al. Leisure time spent sitting in relation to total mortality in a prospective cohort of US adults. American Journal of Epidemiology. 2010 Aug 15;172(4):419-29.

Dunstan DW, et al. Television viewing time and mortality: the Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study (AusDiab). Circulation. 2010;121(3):384—391

Filed Under: Exercise
Written By:  Updated:
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Jesse Cannone, CFT, CPRS, MFT

Jesse is the co-founder and visionary CEO of The Healthy Back Institute®, the world-leading source of natural back pain solutions. His mission as a former back pain sufferer is to help others live pain free without surgery and pharmaceuticals.

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1 thought on “The Deadly Exercise Myth”

  1. Dave, RN says:

    Just found your site. Good info, as I have SI joint pain and hope to use some of the resouces here.
    As for the sitting thing… I just converted my desk at work so I have a place to sit and a place to stand. I stand at least t hours out of the day. Pretty much just sitting for lunch. Been doing this for about a month and can’t imagine going back to sitting all the time.

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