Is Not Exercising Worse than Smoking?

It’s long been purported that smoking is one of the worst things you can do to your body. However, a new study suggests that a sedentary lifestyle can be much more detrimental to your health in the long run.

The JAMA Open Network study has proven that people who don’t exercise regularly are more likely to experience a premature death than people who smoke, have diabetes, or hypertension. In fact, the study shows that those who have the poorest overall aerobic health are 500 times more likely to die prematurely. To compare, a smoker only has a 1.3 increased chance of premature death.


The study has gained mass media attention due to the nature in which it was conducted. Instead of using a survey, 122,007 patients were monitored over the course of 1991 to 2014. First researchers put them under treadmill testing, then they monitored the patients’ mortality rates. A clear correlation was found between patients who exercised and those who lived longer.

Researchers say that doctors must be taught to encourage their parents to maintain a vigorous exercise routine if they really want to prove the quality and length of the lives of their patients.

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