Health News To Know: Lack of Exercise Said to Kill As Many As Smoking, And Why Flip Flops Are As Bad As Stilettos

July 18, 2012  |  

Interesting findings were released today when it comes to the problems with living life as a couch potato and for those who rely on a not-so-good flip flop as their summer must-have shoe.

Studies from the British medical journal The Lancet released today say that physical inactivity causes the death of 1 out of 10 individuals per year. Inactivity is related to the risk of falling to major diseases such as breast and colon cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Because of this, the effects of such a lifestyle are now said to be on par with the effects of smoking and obesity. According to CNN, Harvard researchers say, “inactivity caused an increase in deaths from coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, breast and colon cancers and caused more than 5.3 million deaths in 2008 worldwide.” The connection was said to be most apparent for those in lower and middle class income brackets, but U.S. News & World Report say that the study sees it as a global issue and it should be treated as a dangerous pandemic. They report that one-third of all adults globally face up to a 30 percent increased risk for disease thanks to inactivity, when only around 150 minutes of exercise is recommended per week. Young people face even bigger risks, as U.S. News & World Report say that four out of five young people live a sedentary lifestyle.

And despite the perception that men are the ones chugging all the beer and leaving indentations in the couch, inactivity is said to be higher in women than in men: 34% to 28% according to Dr. Pedro C. Hallal. It was also found that having a support system to get folks off their butt and active is a factor that helps to determine if an individual will stay in a sedentary lifestyle, or if they will get their fitness on. And according to Harvard researcher Dr. I-Min Lee, it doesn’t take much for a substantial change to occur that can save lives:

“This summer, we will admire the breathtaking feats of athletes competing in the 2012 Olympic Games. Although only the smallest fraction of the population will attain these heights, the overwhelming majority of us are able to be physically active at very modest levels, which bring substantial health benefits.”


Now that we’ve got you off your arse, time to take care of those feet, boo!

Summertime is a big time to pull out all the sandals, wedge heels and flip flops to show off those new pedicures and tiny toes that have been in hiding all winter long. However, the latter is being pointed out as the culprit behind many of our foot pains. In an interview with Seattle’s FOX affiliate, Q13 Fox News, Bob Thompson of the Institute for Preventive Foot Health says the lack of heel and structural support on flip flops is doing a great deal of harm to our joints and more. “Everything in your body starts with how you strike your heel to the ground,” he says, and if your feet aren’t getting support, that can tear up your hips, knees and back when walking in flip flops on uneven surfaces.

“You’re taking your five toes and grabbing your shoe to make sure it doesn’t slide out. That action of the toes grabbing the shoe on the toe box is not normal.” Not being able to move your feet freely and in a stable manner without having to drag your shoe along can lead to you falling, twisting your ankle and a lot worse. And these shoes are also said to be bad for people with health problems, such as those with diabetes and the obese, as the exposure of feet that can get scraped up or cut easily can lead to infection, and can also add more strain and lack of comfort to feet already carrying too much weight. In Thompson’s mind, it’s not a problem that people wear flip flops, he just thinks we wear them too much and to do too many things in them–from running errands to going on walks and more.

So if you to love to love your flip flops, and don’t want to shell out the money for more expensive ones with support, try and cut down the amount of time you wear the shoes and don’t make them your go-to footwear. Light tennis shoes are recommended for frequent walking and activity…

Just a few things I thought you should know before you kick it too hard on the couch or in your flip flops. Keep it healthy ladies!

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