The six deadly health sins revealed

A new study has shown the link between these six habits and increase mortality risk, highlighting just how important it is to life a healthy lifestyle if you want to live a long life.

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Published in this week’s PLOS Medicine journal, the University of Sydney study has created a new lifestyle risk score based on six health behaviours.

The researchers used mortality registration data over a 6-year follow-up period among 231,048 Australians aged 45 years or older who had completed a lifestyle questionnaire.

The higher the scores on the lifestyle risk scale, the greater risk of mortality, i.e. the more you engage in one or more of these six behaviours, the more at risk of early death you are:

  • Smoking
  • Alcohol use
  • Dietary behaviour
  • Physical inactivity
  • Sitting down for prolonged periods
  • Too much sleep

The researchers estimated that 31.3 per cent of the deaths assessed could have been avoided if they had stopped engaging in these behaviours.

They also found combinations involving physical inactivity, prolonged sitting, and/or long sleep duration and combinations involving smoking and high alcohol use were among the most strongly associated with all-cause mortality.

The authors said, “This study reaffirms the importance of middle-aged and elderly people adopting healthy lifestyles and establishes prolonged sitting and unhealthy sleep duration as two additional risk factors for all-cause mortality that should be included in scores designed to quantify health risk”.

Tell us, does this study ring alarm bells for you? Do you try to live a healthy lifestyle?