• Samantha Murphy

Why Movement is a Matter of Life or Death

“Get active”, they say…

“It’s good for you”, they say…

“Make sure you’re regularly coming to The Gym”, Missy says…

Movement is encouraged quite a bit in our society. We all know it’s ‘good for you’, but do you ever ask yourself, WHY?

Here are some things you might already know:

· Strength training makes you stronger

· Aerobic training (e.g. running or swimming) improves your aerobic fitness (makes you feel less breathless doing these activities)

· Far too many people focus too much on the ‘aesthetic’ benefits of movement

Yes, the above is true…But there’s so so so much more to it!

Let’s dive in…


Why movement is literally a matter of life or death: (1)

What you might not know is that movement is literally a matter of life or death. No, we’re not exaggerating.

The literature has identified that higher strength and aerobic fitness is associated with lower all-cause or cardiovascular mortality.

What on earth does this mean?

It means that those who are stronger and fitter have a lower chance of dying from any cause OR dying from a heart disease (1).

Yes, you literally have a lower chance of dying if you do enough movement.

If this doesn’t make you want to get active, I don’t know what will.

Why ‘sitting is the new smoking’: (3)

I’m sure many people have spent more time than usual being sedentary in these 2020 iso days... Which is why this is very important!

Sitting time is also associated with an increased risk of all-cause mortality (AKA….death from any cause).

How did I arrive at this conclusion I hear you ask? Through interpretation of meta-analysis data, which is where results from many individual studies surrounding a common research question are statistically analysed together to get an overall comprehensive understanding of the research topic. This data has identified that an adult who sits for 10 hours per day (something far too easy to do in these iso times) has a 52% increased all-cause mortality risk. But, when movement levels were taken into account, this number drops to 34%. Every hour beyond 7 hours per day spent being sedentary is associated with a 5% increase in the risk of all-cause mortality (note: this is taking physical activity levels into account) (3).

Wait, what?

· The risk of dying from sitting too much is reduced when adjusted for physical activity

· Even when physical activity levels are taken into account however, there is still a relationship between sitting time and death

Side Note: if you do find yourself sitting for more than 10 hours per day – have a read of our blog post about standing desks!

Movement can prevent chronic disease: (1)

Being physically active is associated with a reduced risk of a plethora of conditions. These include: Type 2 Diabetes, some types of Cancer (including breast cancer), Cardiovascular Disease, Depression, and much more! (1)

The term ‘cardiometabolic health’ refers to your insulin, cholesterol and blood glucose levels. Movement, especially strength training is amazing for your cardiometabolic health! Cardiometabolic health outcomes are especially important to reduce your risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes – a very common and preventable condition. Another benefit of strength training is that it improves your bone mineral density and bone strength. These can be protective against conditions like Osteopenia and Osteoporosis. (1)

The benefits of being physically active go far beyond what we may expect. With the World Health Organisation declaring a world-wide pandemic this year (2), it’s more important than ever to continue a high level of movement to maintain physical and mental health.

Main Points to Remember:

Yes, movement makes you fit and strong. But there’s so much more to it than that!

· It reduces your risk of a plethora of chronic diseases

· It literally reduces your risk of dying

· Spending less time being sedentary is associated with a lower risk of all-cause death

This is why programs at The Gym incorporate a variety of strength and aerobic training. The information above explains some of the many reasons we encourage members to train for their HEALTH. None of this 8-week challenge business, we want to help people move for life!

If you need a bit more movement in your life, then give us a shout at The Gym Sydney. We are available to chat anytime.

Coach Sam


1. American College of Sports Medicine. ACSM’s Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription. Tenth Edition ed: Wolters Kluwer; 2018.

2. World Health Organization. (2020). Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

3. Chau JY, Grunseit AC, Chey T, Stamatakis E, Brown WJ, Matthews CE, et al. Daily sitting time and all-cause mortality: a meta-analysis. PloS one. 2013;8(11):e80000.

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