Couch Potato Lifestyle Kills 5 Million Worldwide Every Year, Study Says

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Are you an adult? Check. Are you from a wealthy country? Check. Are you from planet Earth? Check. Unfortunately, you're most likely to be one of the nearly 5 million people that die each year from physical inactivity, according to a new study published in the medical journal The Lancet and reported on Yahoo News.

One third of the world's population doesn't get enough exercise and the problem is even worse in wealthier nations. We're not talking a marathon here either--researchers consider ample physical activity as 30 minutes of moderate activity five times per week or vigorous physical activity three times per week. This means walking for 30 minutes five times per week or running for 20 minutes three times per week.

Couch Potato Lifestyle Spreads to Our Children

As we age we do less and less, so starting off inactive increases the problem.

"Roughly three of every 10 individuals aged 15 years or older -- about 1.5 billion people -- do not reach present physical activity recommendations," the study said in a report that described the problem as a "pandemic."

This results in deadly often preventable diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and some forms of cancer. Specifically, "[l]ack of exercise causes an estimated six percent of coronary heart disease cases, seven percent of type 2 diabetes (the most common form) and 10 percent of breast and colon cancers."

Most of these diseases stem from obesity, which not only weigh on our health, but also drain the world's natural resources. “Increasing population fatness could have the same implications for world food energy demands as an extra half a billion people living on the earth,” another study from BMC Public Health concluded.

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