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Tuesday 19th June 2018

Laziness creates health risks

5th November 2010

London-based sports-medicine experts Dr Richard Weiler from the Homerton Hospital and Dr Emmanuel Stamatakis from University College London argue energy-saving devices make us lazier and create risks to our health.


A sedentary lifestyle is an environmental disease with countless unpleasant signs and symptoms, which lead to an early grave.

After millions of years of being active, humans are suddenly moving less as science and technology makes life easier.

We can sit at school, work or on transport and mechanisation has reduced the time we spend moving, though it is ironic that many people spend three hours watching TV a day.

We need to use the car less, use stairs not lifts and walk more.

But our environment has made it easy for us to live "inherently lazy, slothful and sedentary lives".

Many people are not doing the minimum recommended amount of exercise a week and it works out that every week spent inactive is roughly equivalent to smoking a packet of cigarettes in terms of the impact of shortening lifespan.

A sedentary lifestyle can lead to many chronic disease and also unhappiness. Inactivity in children leads to obesity and reduced academic performance while among adults it leads to increased time off work and decreased productivity.

Becoming active, at whatever age, reverses those health risks.

This is not the nanny state informing us about unhealthy behaviours. These symptoms of sedentary living should not become acceptable and recognised medical diseases.

With sedentary living the biggest silent killer in developed countries, the obvious solution is for people to move and be active.


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