Staying active cuts death rates

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Enjoy being active and boost your lifespan

More than 36,000 premature deaths a year could be prevented if we all took a bit more exercise, according to a new study.

The report identifies an inactive lifestyle as one of the top risk factors for death and disability in England - alongside smoking, alcohol intake and obesity.

It comes from the South West Public Health Observatory (SWPHO) and charity Sustrans, published in The Lancet.

Sustrans recommends that simply walking and cycling more could be the key to cutting mortality rates.

The government currently advises that adults should undertake two and a half hours of activity a week. Professor Julia Verne, from the SWPHO says, 'While we realise there are some people who cannot engage fully in physical activity, the tool is useful in highlighting the scale of the impact of physical activity on health. Small increases in activity, even for those who can’t be fully active would still deliver big health benefits.'

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The SWPHO suggests that if all 40-79-year-olds in England were to do the recommended amount of activity, it would lead to a possible 12,061 fewer emergency hospital admissions for coronary heart disease and 6,735 fewer cases of breast cancer.

Sustrans Chief Executive Malcolm Shepherd said, 'We can no longer ignore the problem – local authorities must take immediate action to improve the health of their communities by making walking and cycling the safest, easiest and most enjoyable ways to travel.'

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Zest says: We don't all have to be triathletes in training to reap the benefits of exercise - simply incorporating exercise into your everyday life will help stave off diseases that can kill. You'll feel and look better for it too!

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