Cost of Physical Inactivity: Discussion

What’s the cost of physical inactivity?

That’s one of the topics addressed in a recent episode of PodMed, a weekly podcast from Johns Hopkins Medicine. In the piece, Elizabeth Tracey, director of electronic media for Johns Hopkins Medicine, and Rick Lange, MD, president of the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in El Paso, discuss topics that are directly relevant to — and often included in — well-run workplace wellness programs.

Among the topics addressed:

  • Mortality and physical inactivity
  • If you sit for 8 hours increased mortality by 58%
  • Global economic burden of inactivity
  • Behavioral activation for depression

The post also addresses another study reported by MedPage Today: “Physical Activity Weakens Dangers of Prolonged Sitting: Confirmation for the risks associated with sedentary lifestyle, and the benefits of exercise.”

The report notes that: “Estimates from 2012 indicated that not meeting physical activity recommendations is responsible for more than 5 million deaths globally each year.”

“Although for individuals who have desk jobs, it is difficult to avoid sitting and the associated risks, the right amount of exercise can reverse the effects, the team said.”

The results — as well as the PodMed discussion — amplify reasons that many workplace wellness programs focus on physical activity and movement (“sitting is the new smoking”) as part of their program design.