The unhealthy lifestyle habit behind around 70,000 deaths a year

A new report has suggested that a so-called 'couch potato' lifestyle could be responsible for up to 70,000 deaths a year,

The study, done by Queen's University, Belfast, looked at the link between the risk of several diseases and time spent being inactive. And it has claimed that 69, 276 deaths a year are associated with living a sedentary lifestyle, with irregular exercise and lots of time spent sitting down.

It suggested that 12% of all UK deaths annually come from diseases that may arise from a less active life, such as diabetes and heart disease.

Researchers taking part in the study revealed that around a third of adults spent at least six hours a day sitting, or being inactive - which is probably no surprise given that plenty of us have desk and office jobs.

But this number actually rose from 30% to 37% on the weekends, when you might expect that people are more active.

Leonie Heron from the Centre of Public Health at Queen’s University Belfast, said of the findings, “Many individuals in the UK spend their leisure time in sedentary behaviour, and the workplace represents a significant proportion of unavoidable daily sitting time for many people.”

It's thought that the effects of being inactive cost the NHS around £700 million annually, when it comes to treating conditions such as diabetes.

Some studies suggest that at least an hour of physical activity should be done every day in order to combat the effects of sedentary lifestyles.

In fact, the NHS has said that we should all be doing at least 150 minutes of moderate activity every week, as well as strength exercise on at least two days of the week to work out our muscles.

In 2014, Public Health England also revealed that 'reducing inactivity' could prevent up to 40% of long-term health conditions.

Amy Hunt

Amy Hunt is an experienced digital journalist specialising in homes, interiors and hobbies. She began her career working as the features assistant at woman&home magazine, before moving over to the digital side of the brand where she eventually became the Lifestyle Editor up until January 2022. Amy won the Digital Journalist of the Year award at the AOP Awards in 2019 for her work on