Recent Blog Articles
5 numbers linked to ideal heart health
Rating the drugs in drug ads
Postpartum anxiety is invisible, but common and treatable
The popularity of microdosing of psychedelics: What does the science say?
Pouring from an empty cup? Three ways to refill emotionally
Is pregnancy safe for everyone?
New pediatric guidelines on obesity in children and teens
Screening tests may save lives — so when is it time to stop?
Natural disasters strike everywhere: Ways to help protect your health
The case of the bad placebo
Moderate exercise: No pain, big gains
America is in the grip of an energy crisis. The rising costs and dwindling supplies of fossil fuels get all the press, but from a medical view the real crisis involves human energy — or the lack thereof. In the United States and throughout the industrial world, insufficient exercise is a major cause of disability and death. In America, it is an important contributor to four of the six leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes. In all, sedentary living accounts for some 250,000 premature deaths annually. That means about 10% of all the deaths in America are caused by sloth, as are about 23% of our chronic illnesses. It's a staggering burden of illness, death, and expense, and it's all the more tragic because it's unnecessary.
Scientific studies have been documenting the health benefits of exercise for decades, but fewer than 25% of Americans get the exercise they need. What accounts for the gap between theory and practice?
To continue reading this article, you must log in.
Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.
- Research health conditions
- Check your symptoms
- Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
- Find the best treatments and procedures for you
- Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
I'd like to receive access to Harvard Health Online for only $4.99 a month.Sign Me Up
Already a member? Login ».
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles.
No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.
Free Healthbeat Signup
Get the latest in health news delivered to your inbox!