Sedentary Lifestyle Statistics


graphic-woman-office(1) Sedentary lifestyle is responsible for an estimated $24 billion in direct medical spending.
(2) It is estimated that physical inactivity is responsible for almost 200,000 or 1 in 10 deaths each year.
(3) Walking 10,000 steps a day causes a 90% reduction in heart attacks (American Heart Association), a 30-70% reduction in cancer rates (American Cancer Association), a 50% reduction in type 2 diabetes (American Diabetes Association), and a 70% rate of stroke reduction (American Heart Association).
(4) Only about 22% of Americans report regular sustained physical activity (activity of any intensity lasting 30 minutes or more 5 times a week). 15% of Americans report vigorous activity (activity intense enough to make the heart beat fast and hard breathing for at least 20 minutes or more 3 times a week).
(5) Just over half of all adults accumulate at least 30 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity one day a week, but only 5% of adults manage to accumulate the recommended 150 minutes through the week (The Canadian Health Measure Survey (CHMS)).
(6) According to World Health Organization, 60 to 85% of people in the world—from both developed and developing countries—lead sedentary lifestyles.
(7) Diabetes accounts for more than $98 billion in direct and indirect medical costs and lost productivity each year.


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  • King AC. Environmental and policy approaches to cardiovascular disease prevention through physical activity: Issues and opportunities. Health Education Behavior. 1995;22(4):499.
  • Weiler R, Stamatakis E, Blair S. Should health policy focus on physical activity rather than obesity? Yes. BMJ. 2010;340(7757):1170-1171.

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