Physical activity or exercise, when performed regularly, has been proven to prevent and help manage more than 20 chronic conditions. These include coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, cancer, obesity, mental health problems and musculoskeletal conditions. Ideally being active throughout your lifespan would give optimal health benefits, however research has shown the health gains achieved through physical activity can be attained at any time. So, it doesn’t matter when you start as long as you start!

Physical inactivity is the fourth leading risk factor for death. The latest research shows that a sedentary life is as great a risk factor as smoking and obesity, for heart disease risk. Sedentary behaviour is not simply a lack of activity but a cluster of individual behaviours where sitting or lying is the dominant mode of posture, and energy expenditure is very low.

Inactivity was always associated as a cause of being overweight or obese, which in turn results in an increased risk of heart disease and diabetes. However, the most current research has shown that even normal weight individuals that are inactive, are at risk of developing disease.

While you can blame it on your job or school that forces you to sit for hours in a day, you can also mitigate the negative effects with just 60-75 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity a day.

Regardless of your activity starting point, there are benefits to be gained for anyone who increases their activity levels. Individuals that follow the recommended physical activity guidelines have shown to have optimal health benefits of a 39% reduced risk of dying from any disease. However, anything is better than nothing – even doing half the amount of the recommended weekly activity has shown a 20% lower risk of mortality.

Regular physical activity roughly halves your chance of developing some cancers, like bowel and breast cancer. Studies have shown that people who continued to exercise once diagnosed with cancer had significantly less cancer deaths and any-cause death than those who were inactive.


If you are interested in getting more active and joining others in our fitness classes or general yoga, pilates and tai chi classes, do just turn up for any of our regular classes at the Putney Clinic.