Inactivity Is ‘The Single Greatest Risk Factor for Heart Disease’ in Women Over 30

Let that title mull around in your head for a moment. If you are a woman or have women in your life that you care for, this statement should make you pause for a moment. Worse than smoking? A bigger risk than being overweight? Why has my doctor never asked me how many hours a day I sit in a chair or how many steps I take in a day?

Ask anyone over the age of 30 what the single greatest risk factor is for developing heart disease and there will be a litany of answers. Often the correct response goes unmentioned or worse unheeded; even in a majority of doctor’s offices. A new study out of Australia published in the The British Journal of Sports Medicine should help shed some light on the culprit: Sedentary Lifestyles. TrekDesk treadmill desk’s Movement Revolution aims to reverse the misinformation and spread the word.

The study out of the University of Queensland’s  Centre for Research on Exercise, Physical Activity and Health, School of Human Movement Studies found that physical inactivity was the greatest contributor to heart disease in women over the age of 30. The also found that the importance of the most often recognized risk factors such as obesity, smoking, and high blood pressure varied with age. While inactivity was the greatest risk for women over the age of 30, smoking was the greatest risk factor for women under the age of 30.

The differences seemed more striking as women aged. For example women in their 70’s lowered their risk of heart disease more than 3x if they remained physically active versus smoking cessation. The study followed 32,154 Australian women contributing to the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health.

“We live in a society that is obsessed with body image and BMI statistics yet the most important number to overall daily health is rarely measured or even talked about during physical exams and that is activity levels,” stated Steve Bordley, CEO of TrekDesk Treadmill Desk. “We need greater focus and innovation placed on changing the increasing sedentary infrastructure that surrounds us. That won’t happen until we acknowledge that inactivity is our greatest health challenge today.”