Evidence overwhelmingly demonstrates that compared to less active adult men and women, individuals who are more active have lower rates coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. The elderly are also likely to benefit from regular physical exercise with studies suggesting they are likely to have less risk of a hip or vertebral fracture. People of all ages have exhibited a higher level of cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness and are more likely to achieve weight maintenance, have a healthier body mass and composition.2
There’s no doubt that bad habits increase the cost of cancer, both physically and economically. This is a global phenomenon, which is adding approximately $33.9 billion per year to costs linked to cancer care according to research commissioned by GE Healthcare.1
The research also included data that illustrates the percentage of adults from different countries, who engaged in bad habits. For physical inactivity, Saudi Arabia came out tops with 69% of the population followed closely with Japan (60%) and Brazil (49%). India had the most active population out of the countries surveyed with 16% saying they were physically inactive.1
WHO recommends a number of lifestyle changes, not least the introduction of regular physical activity and the maintenance of a healthy body weight, along with a healthy diet, in order to reduce cancer risk. By practicing these habits the hope is many cancer deaths can be prevented.
WHO developed the “Global Recommendations on Physical Activity for Health” with the overall aim of providing national and regional level policy makers with guidance on the amount of physical activity needed for the prevention of non-communicable diseases (NCD).
The reports identifies physical inactivity as the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality. It recognizes physical inactivity as being the principal cause for approximately 21–25% of breast and colon cancer burden, 27% of diabetes and approximately 30% of ischaemic heart disease burden.
The report also discusses the role of policy makers as it is now recognizes that intervention on a national level is needed if health issues are to be addressed. In a recent collaboration with the American Cancer Society (ACS), GE Healthcare held an open webinar to discuss issues that were stopping people from making healthy lifestyle changes.
One of the panelists, Colleen Doyle, MS, RD, Director, Nutrition and Physical Activity, American Cancer Society, said: “There needs to be guidelines that promote community-action strategies that include the provision of safe, enjoyable, and accessible environments for physical activity.”
Sharing healthy Monday resolutions (#HealthAhead) aims to set up participants for a healthy start to the week with the intention of continuing this behavior for the rest of the week. The hope is new, healthier habits, can be formed that will benefit the individual in the long-term.
Next Monday’s topic will ask ‘How can you be healthy at work?’ Please share your healthy Monday resolutions on twitter using the ‘#HealthAhead’ hashtag.