THE PROBLEM WITH PHYSICAL INACTIVITY

By Pauline Geraci, Owner Fit4Life Studio and Certified Personal Trainer (CPT)

Do you know that physical inactivity is a fast-growing public health problem and contributes to a variety of chronic diseases and health complications, including obesity, diabetes and cancer. In addition to improving a patient’s overall health, increasing physical activity has proven effective in the treatment and prevention of chronic diseases. Even with all the benefits of physical activity, there are still people around the world and right here on the Olympic Peninsula who don’t exercise at all! So here are the statistics again about physical inactivity:

  • According to the World Health Organization’s most recent Global Health Risks data (2004) after high blood pressure, tobacco use and high blood glucose, physical inactivity constitutes the 4th leading cause of death globally, with about 3.3 million attributed deaths per year. More recent evidence (2009) using direct measure, rather than survey data shows physical inactivity to be the leading cause of death in the U.S.
  • More than half of adults (56%) do not meet the recommendations for sufficient physical activity in the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines.
  • In a study of older adolescents and adults in the U.S., participants spent almost eight hours a day in sedentary behaviors, while as much as 36% of adults engaged in no leisure-time physical activity at all.
  • A study in 2008 shows that physical inactivity costs the U.S. Health Care System $330 per person each year, which equals more than $102 billion dollars annually.
  • 40% of U.S. primary care doctors and 36% of US medical students do not meet 2008 federal physical activity guidelines. Physically inactive doctors are less likely to provide exercise counseling to patients and provide less credible role models for the adoption of healthy behaviors.Not surprisingly, only 34% of U.S. adults report having received exercise counseling at their last medical visit.

So what is our medical community right here on the Olympic Peninsula doing about their patients inactivity?  What are YOU doing about your inactivity?

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