It is common knowledge that an active lifestyle is significantly beneficial in the pursuit of a long and healthy life. But a new study indicates that not enough exercise is actually worse for your body than heart disease, smoking, and diabetes.
Conducted by the Cleveland Clinic, the study looked at the effects of exercise on a person’s long-term health prognosis. The senior author of the study, Dr. Wael Jaber, said that the results were surprising. The cardiologist said that it was striking to see that the study demonstrated how not being able to perform up to health standards on a treadmill stress test was more worrisome than being a smoker or a diabetic. Jaber said that the study proves that health professionals need to be stressing the importance of exercise and that being unfit should be considered to have the same negative consequences of other diseases.
The study evaluated over 122,000 participants on a treadmill stress test to measure all causes of mortality. Conducted between January 1, 1991 and December 31, 2014, the study was the first of its kind to look at the effects of exercise on mortality rates. The results were published in the JAMA Network Open medical journal on Friday.
Previous beliefs had been that too much intense exercise could potentially be harmful to one’s physical health. However, this study demonstrated that there is no limit to the benefits provided by exercise.
The positive effects of regular exercise on the body were seen across all age and gender cross-sections of the study. Jaber noted that the participants that did not perform well on the treadmill test have double the risk of mortality than patients on dialysis because of kidney failure.
The results of the study have been well-regarded in large part due to the high amount of people participating in the study. What else lends credence to the study is that unlike some studies that require self-reporting by the participants, this study relied on actual doctor-driven data.