Physical inactivity should be classed as a disease, alongside obesity, two leading health experts claim.
Dr Richard Weiler and Dr Emmanuel Stamatakis have suggested that physical inactivity be classed as a disease as the link between inactivity and poor health is so strong, the UK's Daily Telegraph reported.
Obesity is already classed as a disease by the World Health Organization, but obesity is often due to a deeper cause not doing enough exercise, said Dr Weiler, specialist registrar in sports and exercise at the UK's Imperial College Healthcare.
"Given the significant associated mortality and morbidity," Dr Weiler and Dr Stamatakis wrote in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, "we propose that perhaps physical inactivity should also be considered for recognition as a disease in its own right."
Earlier this year, Dr Weiler said that the lack of fitness was the cause of more ill health than being overweight. He suggested that rather than pumping money into treating the outcomes of physical inactivity, instead offering GPs a financial incentive for promoting exercise to their patients.
It is recommended Kiwis get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity on most, preferably most days of the week for health.
Physical activity can:
- help prevent heart disease, stroke and high-blood pressure;
- reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and some cancers;
- help build healthy bones, muscles and joints and reduce risk of injury; and
- promote physical wellbeing.
Getting started? Here are some tips to get you moving.