Study: Lack of daily exercise 'can cause disease'

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The lack of physical activity can be dangerous to the human body, provoking diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular problems, EU-funded research has found.

Recent research conducted by the University of Copenhagen and the Missouri-Colombia College of Veterinary Medicine sheds light on the risks that individuals run when not exercising sufficiently. 

"Previously we thought that not exercising just wasn't healthy, but we didn’t think that a lack of activity could cause disease. That assumption was wrong," said Professor Frank Booth of the Missouri-Colombia College of Veterinary Medicine. 

The study was conducted in the framework of an EU project on the health benefits of exercise (EXGENESIS). It reveals that daily physical activity is crucial to remaining healthy, improving blood pressure, weight balance and contributing to other benefits.

But most importantly it indicates that the absence of frequent exercise is likely to "greatly increase the risks of developing a chronic disease," stated Professor Booth, citing diabetes and cardiovascular problems as examples. 

The current EU health policy adopts a lifestyle-based approach, highlighting the role of prevention and encouraging people to exercise more. 

Today the medical profession recommends that people do at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise, five days a week. It further suggests this can be done through simply walking. 

Finally, the study reveals that even a couple of weeks of inactivity may already prove dangerous. 

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