Study Finds Lack Of Exercise May Be Bigger Health Risk Than Smoking

A new study out of the Cleveland Clinic has found that a lack of exercise may be more harmful to one's long-term health than smoking or having diabetes. As well, the research found that extreme fitness offers greater benefits than moderate exercise, this challenging previous research hinting at potential issues with very strenuous activities.

The research is based on more than 122,000 patients who partook in treadmill exercise testing at the Cleveland Clinic between January 1, 1991 to December 31, 2014. Researchers looked all-cause mortality in relation to fitness levels and exercise, finding that the greater one's cardiorespiratory fitness, the longer their life may be.

There's no upper limit to the benefits of aerobic fitness, according to the findings, which found that extreme fitness has even better benefits than moderate fitness, especially for individuals with hypertension and people aged 70 or older.

The researchers specifically point toward past research from elsewhere that found associations with very strenuous exercise and potentially negative effects on one's cardiovascular system. According to the latest study, extremely fit people lived longer than those with lesser fitness levels, indicating extreme fitness offers the greater long-term health benefits.

Of particular note is a warning nestled within the results: that low levels of cardiorespiratory fitness is akin to — or even worse than — heart disease, smoking, and diabetes on one's health. The results indicate that for the best chance a long, healthy life, one should exercise regularly.

SOURCE: Cleveland Clinic