While the association between a lack of exercise and an increased risk of chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes and heart disease, is well-established, new research shows that just 14 days of physical inactivity can increase a person's risk of such conditions.
A study by the University of Liverpool found that young, healthy adults who switched from moderate-to-vigorous activity and then to near-sedentary behaviour for just 14 days experienced metabolic changes that could raise their risk of chronic disease and even premature death.
Presenting their findings at the European Congress on Obesity 2017 in Portugal, Study leader Dr. Dan Cuthbertson and colleagues said that reducing physical activity for just 14 days led to a loss of skeletal muscle mass in the participants.
However, the reduction of physical activity for 14 days also led to an increase in total body fat. Furthermore, said body fat was most likely to accumulate centrally, which the team notes is a significant risk factor for chronic disease.
Current guidelines recommend that adults aged 18-64 undertake at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity every week.
However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that fewer than 50% of adults meet these exercise recommendations.
Are you doing enough exercise each week? Even just small lifestyle changes can make a big difference when it comes to your risk of chronic disease.