Inactivity kills more than obesity

Be active, it really is good for you even if you are grossly overweight.

Obesity and inactivity

Obesity and inactivity


Not taking enough exercise is more likely to kill you than obesity BUT obesity in children is linked with an increased risk of MS and other autoimmune diseases such as Crohn’s Disease.


Believe it or not you do not need to take much exercise to remove the inactivity tag. A good brisk walk for 20 minutes each day is sufficient to provide substantial benefits. You can die from inactivity whether you are overweight, the correct weight or underweight.

Dependence on a car

Our society has changed so much in the last 50 years. The UK is one of the most car-dependent countries in Europe. The distance travelled on our roads has increased tenfold since 1950. Cars are no longer a statement, they are essential.

Too many children are taken too school by car. People take the car to do their shopping. These days there is insufficient incentive to walk or cycle but we need to take exercise.

Potholes in the roads and cars going too fast; cycling is no longer such a safe or enjoyable experience. Only too often people consider it is quicker and simpler to get in the car and drive to the destination but can they park the car when they get there? Why not walk there instead?

Is it easy to take the exercise?

People who commute to work by public transport will probably be getting enough exercise.  You could try going for a walk during your lunch break but walking around an industrial estate is not very exciting. Maybe you can go for a walk when you get home. A dog is always an incentive to go out for a walk.

Remember that physical activity will reduce cardiovascular disease and it is likely that you will have a healthier heart. If you are overweight then exercise might help to shed that extra weight as well as eating less.

Maybe you are like me, my poor balance means it is impossible to walk without an aid and I have MS fatigue. Maybe you are in a wheelchair; don’t despair. The important point is doing something to increase the pulse and to get blood circulating around the body.

Always an excuse

It can be more difficult to take exercise if you have a disability. I know because I find myself using that as an excuse. Long nights, short days, cold weather and lack of sunshine are further disincentives.  I must put so many extra clothes when I go outside in the winter.

Obesity in children.

In the UK this is very much a phenomenon of the 21st century. When children are obese they tend to have a low level of Vitamin D so there is a possibility they are more likely to get MS.

So it looks like we all need to take more exercise and ensure children eat less and are getting enough Vitamin D.

Image courtesy of Raktim Chatterjee  at

2 responses to “Inactivity kills more than obesity”

  1. Jane Ambrose says:

    Sorry Patrick, it would be good to have “a good brisk walk for 20 minutes every day” but I have, like you, MS, and I physically am unable to walk- even with a rollator for 20 minutes. I feel guilty for not moving enough, but walking for 20 minutes is just pie in the sky! PS: Keep writing! Always good to get aid4disabled

    • Hello Jane,

      I really do understand and ‘walking’ with a rollator and how difficult it is. I have just managed to keep walking for an hour, Sept 2020. Lot of practise over the summer but felt so good for doing it.

      Set yourself a realistic target and go for it. I promise you it is worth it. Incidentally I wrote this blog over 5 years ago, a lot has happened to me but the principle still applies

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