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People with chronic conditions are missing out on health management benefits of physical activity

A study of over 96,000 UK men and women, of average age 64.5 years, has found that those with chronic conditions are spending considerably less time on physical activity than their healthy peers, so are missing out on its health management benefits.

The George Institute for Global Health at the University of Oxford measured the duration and intensity of physical activity levels over seven days and compared those participants with, and those without, chronic disease. They found that those with chronic disease, even those conditions that don’t directly limit capacity for exercise, spent less time active.Around 15 million people in England suffer from chronic disease. Major types include cardiovascular disease (e.g. heart attacks and stroke), respiratory disease (e.g. asthma), and mental health conditions (e.g. depression). Chronic conditions are not passed from person to person, usually develop slowly, and are often characterised by the need for long-term management.

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