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

Amy Hunt is Life Channel Editor at, having been with the brand since 2015. She began as the magazine's features assistant before moving over to digital as a News and Features Writer, before becoming Senior Writer, and now a Channel Editor. She has worked on either women's lifestyle websites previously too—including Woman's Weekly,, Woman, and Woman's Own. In 2019, Amy won the Digital Journalist of the Year award at the AOP Awards, for her work on She is passionate about everything from books, to homes, to food and the latest news on the royal family. When she isn't editing or updating articles on cleaning, homewares, the newest home gadgets, or the latest books releases for the website, she's busy burying her nose in a gripping thriller, practising yoga, or buying new homeware of her own.