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Physical inactivity may be deadlier than smoking

Have you moved today? Physical inactivity causes 1 in 10 deaths around the world.

Sitting life expectancy Enlarge
A new study has found that sitting for three hours a day takes up to two years off your life. (AFP/Getty/AFP/Getty Images)

Physical inactivity causes 1 in 10 deaths around the world, according to a new research report.

I-Min Lee, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and lead researcher on the study, told USA Today that of the approximately 57 million deaths worldwide expected this year, about 5.3 million of them will be premature deaths in which a lack of physical activity was the contributing factor. Lee went on to say that physical inactivity is just as dangerous of a risk factor as smoking or obesity.

The AFP noted that in the study, physical inactivity was described as failing to do 30 minutes of moderate physical activity five times a week, 20 minutes of vigorous activity three times a week, or a combination of the two.

In the research report, the team of 33 researchers from around the world said governments need to look at ways to make physical activity more convenient, affordable and safer, the BBC reported. The group also suggested governments warn people of the dangers of physical inactivity rather than just reminding them of the benefits of being active. 

Pedro Hallal, one of the lead researchers, told the BBC that the upcoming Olympic games would be a great way to get people motivated to get moving. "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."

More from GlobalPost: Sitting three hours a day can take two years off your life

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/health/120718/physical-inactivity-may-be-deadlier-smoking