Even though most Canadians are well aware of the dangers associated with smoking, many of us see all of our time spent sitting in front of screens as relatively harmless.
Unfortunately, it’s not.
Living an inactive lifestyle can actually be almost as bad as inhaling tobacco all day. At least, that’s according to a new study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. Researchers found that consistent, low levels of physical activity can have a crushing impact on health that could only be rivaled by an addiction to cigarettes.
The study followed 792 men for more than 50 years, while researchers subjected them to a variety of fitness tests and physical examinations.
“We found that low aerobic capacity was associated with increased rates of death,” lead author Dr. Per Ladenvall said in a statement. “The effect of aerobic capacity on risk of death was second only to smoking.”
So even though smokers are always the ones being told to “kick” the habit, it turns out we could all benefit from moving our legs around a little more. Especially in a world dominated by social media, screens and other devices that function best when the user is in a seated position (although Pokemon Go seems to be good at keeping people on their feet).
In fact, ParticipACTION reported in 2015 that the average Canadian child spends about 7.5 hours in front of a screen per day. Which suggests this problem could be set to grow in the future.