Don’t exercise enough? It might pose a greater risk to your health than smoking, diabetes or heart disease, a study suggests.
Researchers at the Cleveland Clinic studied more than 122,000 patients who participated in treadmill testing between 1991 and 2014.
Results showed better cardiorespiratory fitness was linked to living longer, while extreme aerobic fitness provided the greatest benefits, especially to patients over 70 and patients with hypertension.
The study also said the risk posed by not exercising were the same or higher than traditional risk factors such as smoking or diabetes.
“Aerobic fitness is something that most patients can control,” said Wael Jaber, M.D., a cardiologist with Cleveland Clinic and lead author of the study, in a statement. “And we found in our study there is no limit to how much exercise is too much.”
The study was published October 19 in the “Journal of the American Medical Association Network Open.”
Multiple studies have not only touted the benefits to regular exercise, but that people worldwide don’t get enough. Last month, a study from the World Health Organization found 1.4 billion people globally are physically inactive, putting them at risk for diseases such as diabetes.
In June, a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said only 23 percent of Americans were getting enough exercise. CDC guidelines suggest Americans get 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise a week, along with muscle-strengthening activities twice a week.
But even exercising two days a week might offer benefits. In May, a study from the Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center found exercising two to three days a week could minimize stiffening in middle-sized arteries.
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