Forget Botox and reach for some barbells instead. New research published in the Archives of Internal Medicine shows that people who forgo regular exercise and physical activity age prematurely. Yesterday lead researcher Tim D. Spector told The Washington Post: “These data suggest that the act of exercising may actually protect the body against the aging process.”
The drawbacks of our lethargy are not just skin deep. Previous research has shown that sedentary lifestyles increase the risk of cancer, heart problems, and other potentially fatal diseases. Last year, a study in JAMA, the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association, found that physical activity levels, regardless of weight, determine morbidity.
It’s no surprise that we chose to sit on our bums. From remote controls to intercom systems, our homes and offices are packed with convenience gadgets that ensure we rarely have to get up. As the latest study demonstrates, convenience has a price. The growing epidemic of physical inactivity is such a significant problem that U.S. doctors have coined a new term: "sedentary death syndrome."
But these La-Z-Boy-related health risks have failed to make headlines. Reluctant to tax, limit, or ban any component of our cozy lifestyles, health officials have opted to go after less effective, but more politically correct targets: our favorite foods. “Junk” food regulations may help politicians look “tough on fat.” But science shows that they won’t make us look — or feel — any younger.