A new study has revealed that walking as little as 20 minutes daily,. lessens an otherwise sedentary persons risk of early death. In the same study they researchers found that the risk of death due to lack of exercise is double the risk of just being obese.

The researchers wanted to study the link between lack of exercise and early death and the relation to obesity so they analysed data of over 340000 patients in Europe, over an 8 eight year period. They looked at patients weight, height, waist size and self reported activity levels. The researchers found the greatest reductions in risk of early death, when comparing inactive patients to those who were moderately active. They found that doing exercise that burned as little as 110 calories ( about a 20 minute brisk walk) was enough to reduce the risk of early death by as much as 30%. The study also revealed that whilst the effect was greatest in those patients with normal weight, it also benefited overweight and obese participants. They found the risk of early death due to lack of exercise was almost double that what it was for the risk of death from obesity alone.

Professor Ekelund, a sports medicine professor who works at the Medical Research Council Epidemiology Unit at the University of Cambridge, who led the research , commented that whilst 20 minutes of brisk walking a day makes a difference, we should all be aiming to do much more . We know that physical activity has a lot of other health benefits and improves quality of life, improves mood and cognitive function.Of course it is also important that we look at ways of combating  obesity by improving public health campaigns alerting people to the risks of fatty foods and sugar, sodas and so forth. If we could manage this together with increasing physical activity we should see a rea difference in early death rates. If you don’t like walking or running then consider doing something else, such as yoga, which also burns calories.

Why not make 2015 the year that you make a start and get more active. It will be beneficial for you in more ways than you think