14:36 19 July 2012
It may come as a surprise but being lazy has been linked to as many deaths as smoking across the world according to a new study.
Lancet published a report to coincide with the Olympic Games which concluded that a lack of exercise could be as deadly as the well-known effects of nicotine addiction.
Researchers estimated that a third of adults are not doing enough physical activity, which as a result caused 5.3m deaths a year. Put in perspective, that's around one in 10 deaths from diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and breast and colon cancer.
And it's those countries who have a higher income who are the worst offenders.
The team even went as far to state that the issue was such a concern that it should be treated as a pandemic and advised that governments should stress not just the benefits of being active but the sheer dangers of not being active.
It is recommended that adults perform two and a half hours of moderate exercise each week. Moderate exercise consists of activities such as relatively fast walking, gardening or cycling.
Pedro Hallal, one of the lead researchers, was quoted as saying: "With the upcoming 2012 Olympic Games, sport and physical activity will attract tremendous worldwide attention.
"Although the world will be watching elite athletes from many countries compete in sporting events... most spectators will be quite inactive.
"The global challenge is clear - make physical activity a public health priority throughout the world to improve health and reduce the burden of disease."
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