At the same time, research shows that good fitness reduces the risk of both cardiovascular disease and severe covid-19, even for those living with obesity. The Heart-Lung Foundation therefore welcomes the government’s initiative to promote physical activity in the entire population and at the same time calls on all residents in Kalmar County to move more.
Physical activity is strongly linked to a healthier and longer life. Exercising regularly reduces the risk of serious and life-threatening conditions, such as high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, type 2 diabetes, bone fractures and mental illness. Nevertheless, only 66 percent of the inhabitants of Kalmar County state that they exercise according to the recommendations, which means at least 150 minutes of heart rate-increasing activity a week. Adult Swedes sit still for an average of more than nine hours a day and Sweden’s school children end up at the bottom of 45 countries when it comes to physical activity.
Thanks to research that has contributed to better care and advice on living habits, mortality from cardiovascular disease in Sweden has halved since the turn of the millennium. Nevertheless, cardiovascular disease is still Sweden’s largest cause of death with around 30,000 deaths each year. Many people live with serious risk factors for cardiovascular disease without knowing about it and can be largely asymptomatic until the heart attack is a fact. The large population study SCAPIS shows that four out of ten Swedes between the ages of 50 and 64 have visible plaques in the coronary arteries of the heart.
According to a report from the Institute for Health and Medical Care Economics (IHE), more than half of all heart attacks and a third of all strokes in Sweden can be linked to lifestyle. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a large proportion of all coronary heart disease and stroke can be prevented with improved living habits, even for those who are already ill.
If Christmas was a time to enjoy good food and long sessions with relatives and friends, many will use the new year to improve their living habits. A Sifo survey commissioned by the Heart-Lung Foundation shows that as many as four out of ten Swedes could imagine making a New Year’s promise to move more. We therefore hope that you who live in Kalmar County and feel that you should exercise more – do not wait, just do it! The best physical activity is the one that gets rid of.