How Many Deaths Per Year Does Humanity Manage To Avoid Through Physical Activity?

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How Many Deaths Per Year Does Humanity Manage To Avoid Through Physical Activity?
How Many Deaths Per Year Does Humanity Manage To Avoid Through Physical Activity?

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How many deaths per year does humanity manage to avoid through physical activity?

Scientists often focus on the bad effects of a sedentary lifestyle. The new research goes from contradiction: it demonstrates the benefits of physical activity in the real world.

How many deaths per year does humanity manage to avoid through physical activity?
How many deaths per year does humanity manage to avoid through physical activity?

Photo: Robert Irvine / USAF

An estimated 3.9 million early deaths a year do not occur due to the fact that many people are physically active. This was shown by a new work by scientists from the University of Cambridge, published in The Lancet Global Health.

The authors used data from 168 countries about the physical activity of which proportion of their population meets WHO standards (150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of high intensity exercise per week). They compared this information with data on the relative risk of early death among physically active and passive people. Based on this, the scientists calculated the number of premature deaths averted.

Physical activity reduces the number of early deaths by 15%: 14% among women, and 16% among men, scientists found.

Physical activity levels varied significantly across countries. For example, 33% of the population in Kuwait met WHO standards, and 94% in Mozambique. But scientists note that in all countries, the level of prevented early deaths was high. They noticed a trend that in low- and middle-income countries this figure is higher than in developed countries: 18% versus 14%.

In Russia, according to the study, the number of early deaths prevented by physical activity is 197.2 thousand per year (17.7%).

According to previous estimates, around 3.2 million people worldwide die prematurely as a result of sedentary lifestyles each year. The authors of the new study hope that demonstrating how many deaths can be prevented will help to better communicate the message of health benefits to people.

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