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Killer stairs? Taking the elevator could be worse for your body
Date:3/18/2008

COLUMBIA, Mo. -- For years, scientists have been proclaiming the benefits of exercise. Studies showing that regular exercise benefits human health have exploded in number, examining many health problems ranging from cancer and diabetes to arthritis and pre-mature death.

Now, a University of Missouri researcher has found direct evidence to support the claim of the Centers for Disease Control that a reduction in daily physical activity is an actual cause of many of the risk factors for chronic diseases, including diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The research team also found that it only takes about two weeks of reduced activity for individuals to start noticing the effects. The study is being published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) this week.

A low level of daily physical activity not only doesnt help your current health status, it could be the reason you got sick in the first place, said Frank Booth, professor of biomedical sciences in the MU College of Veterinary Medicine. Our study looked at what happened when a group of individuals reduced their daily physical activity. Our findings indicated that if there is a lack of normal physical activity, a person greatly increases the chances of developing a chronic disease. Previously, we thought that not exercising just wasnt healthy, but we didnt think that a lack of activity could cause disease. That assumption was wrong.

Booth and researchers at the University of Copenhagen conducted two different studies in Copenhagen. In the first study, participants were asked to reduce the amount of steps they took per day from 6,000 to 1,400 for three weeks. Instead of walking or taking the stairs, participants were instructed to use motorized transportation, such as a car or elevator, in every situation possible.

The second study asked participants who were more active, averaging 10,000 steps per day, to reduce their activity to 1,400 steps per day for two
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Contact: Christian Basi
BasiC@missouri.edu
573-882-4430
University of Missouri-Columbia
Source:Eurekalert

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