Health Risks of Not Being Physically Active
Not being physically active is a risk factor for health problems. If you aren't physically
active, you are at higher risk for:
High blood pressure
Type 2 diabetes
Anxiety and depression
Some kinds of cancer
Facts about inactive lifestyles
Many deaths occur each year due to a lack of regular physical activity. Here are some
More people tend to have an inactive lifestyle as they get older.
Women are more likely to have inactive lifestyles than men.
Non-Hispanic white adults are more likely to get physical activity.
Hispanic and African-American adults are less likely to get physical activity.
Getting active to prevent health problems
Being physically active has been shown to have many benefits. For example:
You are less likely to develop coronary heart disease. This is even if you smoke,
drink alcohol, or don’t have a healthy diet.
People of size greatly reduce their risk for disease when they get regular physical
Older adults who are active can reduce their risk for falls. They can improve their
ability to do daily activities.
You can help prevent health problems caused by not being physically active. The CDC
suggests that you:
Increase your amount of weight-bearing activities. Examples of this are running and
Increase your amount of aerobic activity. This includes running, biking, or swimming.
Do strength training exercises twice a week.
Do aerobic activity all during the week. This means things that increase your heart
The CDC suggests that adults with chronic conditions or disabilities do both of the
activities below if they are able:
Spend at least 2.5 to 5 hours of time each week (for instance, 30 minutes for 5 days
a week) on moderate-intensity aerobic activity.
Do muscle-strengthening activities that include all major muscle groups at least 2
days a week.
If you aren't active or you have chronic health problems, ask your healthcare provider
how to safely increase the amount of your daily activity. Even a small daily increase
can have health benefits.