images-2We have all heard about that uncle that didn’t smoke or drink, and went to bed early, and died of a heart attack while going for his morning run, right??!! Why would we even bother?!!

Well, there’s some truth to that fear, as your risk of injury and other negative health events certainly increases somewhat WHILE you are exercising. Think about it, your car is much more likely to rattle, overheat, or have a tire blow out while driving at high speeds, than while it’s parked in your garage, right?! A wise colleague of mine once said at a presentation on the matter:

I have never seen anyone get injured while standing at the front of a shop while window-shopping!

and I have to agree, neither have I. And the more extreme the exercise, the greater the chance of a negative outcome. Take Mountaineering for example, which is 50-100 x more risky than your regular structured exercise, with a 1 in 400 chance of dying in any given year!!

BUT, here is the catch: Doing nothing is 20x more risky than moutaineering!!

It is  very clear that being sedentary and sitting for prolonged periods of time is extremely dangerous for us. So much so, that when compared to the rightly criticised smoking, which takes 11mins off your life expectancy per cigarette that you smoke; one hour of sitting watching TV takes 22 mins off your life!

Sitting for 10 hours a day is equivalent to being like an average smoker (20 a day). Both of which lose 1.5 years for every 10 years of the habit.

So how do we reverse this increasing level of risk? The clear answer is to obviously move more! Make sure that you aren’t sitting for an hour without having gotten up. In addition good health (FESS) behaviours reduce the risk of premature death by 65-84%

One other thing to watch is stress. Those that report being “Much more stressed than usual” are at a similar level of risk as those that smoke 20 cigarettes a day!! So, how can you combat this? We know that hobby activities reduce risk by 27%; that relaxation exercises reduce risk by 23%; and that simply ‘enjoying’ life reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease by 38% in men and 11% in women

Ok, time for me to get up and do a few squats!