Physical Inactivity vs. Obesity: Which Is The Bigger Problem?

| Well Being

inactive kids watching tv

Obesity and physical inactivity are subjects of a question similar to the one about the chicken and the egg. Obesity is accepted as a rampant health problem that is sometimes caused by being sedentary, along with other unhealthy habits, and other times by medical issues. Regardless, a study published recently found that physical inactivity may have more of an impact on early mortality than obesity. (via Forbes) This study determined that waist circumference, translated as belly fat, played a larger part in premature death as opposed to weight.

Not only are rates of sedentary Americans up, but children are also experiencing the adverse effects of inactivity. Ten million American children are totally sedentary and 33 million are not active up to healthy standards. These are staggering statistics given that inactivity causes poor academic performance in children, among other repercussions. (via PHIT America) Inactivity in childhood sets an individual up for poor health in the future, grounded in bad habits in their youth. It affects their overall health and livelihood and reinforces that activity must become part of each day.


>> Read more: 8 Ways to Sneak In a Workout Right Now

According to ABC News, just 30 minutes of moderate exercise each day will increase life expectancy. Physical inactivity raises risk for disease and obesity. If obesity is the focus, the risks of being totally sedentary might be overlooked; however, if people focus on being active and keeping their family active, they would address both health problems and make strides away from disease. In addition, physical activity benefits everyone, even those who are not overweight.

Make being more active a family effort. Take walks together or spend a day swimming at the pool. Don't let your kids become couch potatoes and instead, inspire them to put down the video games and spend time outside. Reverse the chain reaction and make your bad habits good ones. Being more active could lead to better eating habits and healthier lifestyle overall.

>> Read more: Why Healthy Habits Are A Family Thing

Megen DiSanto |

Megen (yes, it's spelled that way even though autocorrect claims false) is a cowboy boot wearing native Chicagoan with a passion for all things DIY.