Research: Lack of Exercise is a Major Cause of Chronic Diseases

sedentary lifestyle

Inactivity or lack of exercise leads to many long term health problems including so called lifestyle diseases like diabetes, hypertension, high blood cholesterol, cardiovascular diseases and stroke.

Several studies conclude that lack of exercise or physical inactivity is the primary cause of most chronic diseases. Evidence also indicates that physical activity primarily prevents, or delays chronic diseases, implying that chronic diseases ( major killers in the modern era), need not be an inevitable outcome during life.

Chronic diseases are diseases that slow in its progress (decades) and long in its continuance. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), chronic diseases – such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and arthritis – are among the most common, costly, and preventable of all health problems in the U.S. 

Former US Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Honorable Michael O. Leavitt in the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, suggests 

physical activity as an essential component of any comprehensive disease prevention and health promotion strategy for Americans. 

Sedentary behavior contributes to a host of chronic diseases, and regular physical activity is an important component of an overall healthy lifestyle. 

There is strong evidence that physically active people have better health-related physical fitness and are at lower risk of developing many disabling medical conditions than inactive people.

Your body is naturally meant to get enough exercise to keep it in a healthy condition. If it does not get enough exercise, it goes way far beyond gaining weight. Even if it seems silly, lack of exercise leads to many things that you probably don’t even realize.

Below are some of the possible health risks you may be under, when your body does't get the exercise it needs.

Weight gain


Low energy level

Poor blood circulation

Reduced oxygen levels in the blood

Weakened bones

Susceptibility to osteoporosis

Malfunctioning of the organs

Muscle atrophy



Sluggish blood flow

Shrinking of heart muscles

Mineral build up in organs

Plaque formation in the blood vessels

Increased visceral fat (accumulated fat around the waste)

Increased risk of diabetes, high blood cholesterol and hypertension

Increased risk of coronary heart disease and stroke

If the period of inactivity is longer, you are more likely to suffer from these problems.  The  ever developing technologies and conveniences have shaped us to lead a sedentary lifestyle.. The researches conducted on the subject of sedentary habits in adults shows an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity. Today’s common tendency of spending leisure time is sitting in front of televisions, computers or smartphones aiming to get some entertainment. We often do it for prolonged hours without even aware of its consequences.

One-third of the global population aged 15 years and older engages in insufficient physical activities, which affects health. However, the health risks posed by sedentary behaviors are not well known. Sedentary lifestyles are spreading worldwide because of a lack of available spaces for exercise, increased occupational sedentary behaviors such as office work, and the increased penetration of television and video devices.

Lack of exercise decreases cardiac output, systemic blood flow, insulin sensitivity and vascular function. Studies show that sedentary behaviors have wide-ranging adverse impacts on the human body including increased all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease mortality, cancer risk, and risks of metabolic disorders such as diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and dyslipidemia; musculoskeletal disorders such as arthralgia and osteoporosis; depression; and, cognitive impairment. According to medical experts, reducing sedentary behaviors and increasing physical activity are both important to promote public health.

To avoid the deleterious consequences of sedentary lifestyle, use your discrimination. Try to involve in activities that provide you the opportunities to break out some sweat, during leisure time, which in turn can enhance your Health.  Exercising at least thirty minutes a day can improve your overall health noticeably and its benefits persist as you go through with the routine regularly.



Lack of exercise is a major cause of chronic diseases    Frank W. Booth, Ph.D.,1 Christian K. Roberts, Ph.D.,2 and Matthew J. Laye, Ph.D.3

Sedentary Lifestyle: Overview of Updated Evidence of Potential Health Risks     Jung Ha Park,1 Ji Hyun Moon,1,2 Hyeon Ju Kim,1,2 Mi Hee Kong,1,2 and Yun Hwan Oh1,2,*


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