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Morbidly obese sedentary for 99% of day

Morbidly obese people are likely to remain sedentary for more than 99 per cent of the day, leading to poor fitness and increased cardiovascular risk.

health and fitness Updated: Mar 26, 2009 19:07 IST

Morbidly obese people are likely to remain sedentary for more than 99 per cent of the day, leading to poor fitness and increased cardiovascular risk, according to a new study.

Morbidly obese individuals are those, whose body mass indexes are between 40.0 and 49.9.

On average, they walked less than 2,500 steps per day – far below healthy living guidelines of 10,000 steps per day.

During the study, the researchers Thomas Vanhecke, Barry Franklin,Wendy Miller, Adam deJong, Catherine Coleman and Peter McCullough of William Beaumont Hospital used a precise body sensor to continually measure physical activity, caloric expenditure and movement minute-by-minute over a 72-hour period within their home environments.

They found that most morbidly obese participants were markedly sedentary.

On average, 23 hours and 51.6 min per day were spent sleeping or engaged in sedentary activity and the remaining 8.4 minutes were spent in moderate activity.

Obesity has been linked to various diseases with the highest mortality rates such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, hypertension and cancer.

The team suggests that even light walking in speeds of 1 to 2 miles per hour shows significant health benefits. Over time, increasing amounts of light physical activity may improve aerobic capacity and ultimately reduce mortality.

“Our findings have important implications for the relationship between obesity and physical activity,” said authors.

“Our findings will add incentive to increase physical fitness in this population and increase the awareness of healthcare professionals of the need for recommending physical activity in their patients,” they added.

The study is published in Clinical Cardiology.