Health risks of inactivity
As you have read in the benefits of physical activity information section, there's a lot to be gained from becoming physically active and starting a healthier lifestyle.
There are many benefits associated with healthy living and an all-round healthier lifestyle.
However, there are also health risks associated with not being physically active. Inactive people (those who don't meet the recommended levels of physical activity) face serious health risks. This is another reason why it's so important to adopt healthy living practices.
Research shows that inactive people have:
- a greater risk of heart attacks and strokes than active people
- higher blood pressure (itself a major risk factor for heart disease)
- a higher risk of developing some cancers
- more chance of developing diabetes
- a higher risk of osteoporosis, leading to fractures. Up to half of hip fractures could be avoided with regular physical activity
- more risk of being overweight or obese: this also increases the risk of other medical conditions
- more injuries and accidents than physically active people
This physical activity information shows there's a great many advantages to being physically active and leading a healthier lifestyle. However, these healthy living facts don't just apply to adults, but to children who don't adopt a healthier lifestyle too.
These are not the only costs of not being active enough.
- Inactive children are at risk of poorer self-esteem, greater anxiety and higher stress levels.
- These children are also more likely to smoke and use drugs than physically active children.
- Inactive employees have more days off work than active employees.
- In later life, inactive people lose the basic strength and flexibility for daily activities. As a result, many lose their independence and have poorer mental health.