Physical inactivity isn't a bad habit solely because it pads our waistlines. More than obesity, physical inactivity, in and of itself, is the cause of health problems, rising healthcare costs, and workplace productivity losses. Physical inactivity is the fourth leading cause of death worldwide, according to a landmark body of research published in the prestigious medical journal, The Lancet; these statistics rank its public health impact on par with that of cigarette smoking. Along with decades of earlier studies, this research points to a much-needed shift in focus: in the midst of a highly publicized 'obesity epidemic,' there's another closely related epidemic, one of physical inactivity, that's more pervasive and more expensive. This white paper reviews dozens of published studies to document the dangers of our sedentary culture, how physical activity improves health (even without weight loss), and how the epidemic of physical inactivity impacts employers' bottom lines.
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