Laziness is 'a disease'

A team from Imperial College London and University College London has said physical inactivity should be classed as “disease in its own right” — this is because as the link between inactivity and poor health is so strong.

“Given the significant associated mortality and morbidity, we propose that perhaps physical inactivity should also be considered for recognition as a disease in its own right,” said Dr Richard Weiller of Imperial College.

Obesity is already classed as a disease by the World Health Organisation, he said, adding it was often partially the result of a deeper cause — not doing enough exercise.

“Money is pumped at treating the symptoms of physical inactivity but not at the root cause,” Weiller said.

Weiller said recent studies showed only one in 20 people took the minimum amount of recommended exercise, but there was still “no coordinated plan” to tackle the problem.

He asked: “Can we afford to leave physical activity promotion in primary care as the ‘would-be-nice’ preventive option, offered typically in the form of unstructured advice by less trained professionals?”

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