Body Count (Part 1)

The U.S government (and other countries) use the expression Body Count to update the public on the number of violent deaths that occurred because of war or military action. These reports may be given daily, weekly, monthly or yearly. Since a number of deaths occur in North America because of unhealthy habits we want to remind the public how many people die daily, weekly etc. due to engaging in these potentially dangerous risk factors (sedentary behavior, poor diet, smoking, etc.).

An American Epidemic
Lack of physical activity (or exercise, if you prefer) is a major risk factor in heart disease. Currently in North America (U.S. & Canada) lack of physical activity may cause as many as 1 in 6 heart disease deaths.* Let’s translate that information to real Body Count deaths.

The Numbers
Body Count
Think about the realities of these numbers. Almost 112,500 people die in North America because they live a lifestyle that lacks exercise. Imagine the public uproar if that many people died annually from auto accidents, excessive alcohol consumption or being shot with a gun.

An Easy Fix
Lack of physical activity is an easy fix. To reduce the risk of heart disease through physical activity, 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity during the week (50 minutes 3 times a week or ~37 minutes 4 times a week—that’s 1-1/2% of your 24 hour day) does the trick. How does lack of sedentary behavior increase our heart disease risk? Not getting sufficient exercise may encourage an increase in obesity/overweight and abdominal fat, development of undesirable blood cholesterol profiles, elevated blood pressures and triglyceride levels and a predisposition toward type 2 Diabetes. Get moving!

*Reference: Lee, I, Shiroma, EJ, Lobelo F. et al. The Lancet, Published online 7/18/12

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