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The importance of physical activity
  1. Doug Addy
  1. Correspondence to Doug Addy 15 Dyott Road, Moseley, Birmingham B13 9QZ, UK; dougaddy{at}

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Physical inactivity ranks alongside smoking as a major contributor to the burden of noncommunicable disease worldwide. A quarter of the world's population are smokers but over a third are physically inactive. Smoking causes 5.1 million deaths a year but physical inactivity causes 5.3 million. Both have population attributable risks for noncommunicable diseases of around 9%. The 21 July 2012 issue of the Lancet is largely devoted to the harms of …

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.