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Chronic disease link to inactivity

Wednesday February 6th, 2019

Physical inactivity may be creating a further, avoidable health risk for people living with chronic disease, British experts have warned.

The possibility of chronic diseases contributing to physical inactivity was explored by Professor Terry Dwyer at the University of Oxford, UK, and colleagues.

Their study compared the rate of physical activity among people with chronic disease and a group of healthy individuals.

To do so they used figures from 96,706 participants aged 40 years or older, taking part in the ongoing UK Biobank study.

Physical activity was measured with a wearable accelerometer for a week. Those with a chronic disease did an average of 9% less moderate activity - such as brisk walking or gardening - and 11% less vigorous activity - such as running or aerobics - than the healthy group.

This reduced level of activity was seen for each type of chronic disease, even conditions that do not directly limit the ability to exercise.

Findings appeared in the International Journal of Epidemiology yesterday (5 February).

The team concluded: "The cross-sectional association of physical activity with chronic disease is broad.

"Given the substantial health benefits of being physically active, clinicians and policymakers should be aware that their patients with any chronic disease are at greater health risk from other diseases than anticipated because of their physical inactivity."

Professor Dwyer said: "Chronic diseases are the emerging health burden of our time. We know that increasing physical activity is important both for the management of chronic diseases and also for preventing the development of new chronic diseases in an individual, so our findings give cause for concern."

Barker, J. et al. Physical activity of UK adults with chronic disease: cross-sectional analysis of accelerometer-measured physical activity in 96 706 UK Biobank participants. International Journal of Epidemiology 5 February 2019; doi: 10.1093/ije/dyy294

https://academic.oup.com/ije/advance-article/doi/10.1093/ije/dyy294/5306120

Tags: Elderly Health | Fitness | General Health | UK News

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