Could Exercise Be Bad For You?


A study suggests that not everyone may benefit from regular exercise? Let's look at the facts...

In keeping with the myth-busting theme from my last blog I thought I’d take the opportunity to address a rather ridiculous study I came recently came across. The study suggests that not everyone may benefit from regular exercise, and that for a small fragment of the population, exercise may actually increase diabetes and heart disease risk factors.

As silly as the study may be, to someone who does know much about health and wellness this might be there get-out-of-gym-free card.

The “Facts”
 The study analyzed data on 1,687 adults, compiled from six previous studies, including the HERITAGE Family Study, the DREW Study and STRRIDE.
 Based on arbitrary parameters put fourth by the researchers, studies found that around 11% of participants had an adverse change in at least one risk factor, and that 7% had adverse effects in two or more risk factors.

Debunking the Myth
 At first glance the study almost seems legitimate. However, closer inspection reveals that the study is flawed (no surprise there!). The researchers were able to prove that exercise may actually increase diabetes and heart disease risk factors because they did not factor in the importance of proper nutrition. In many cases participants were sedentary or overweight and were instructed not to change their diets. Though exercise is an important aspect of health many of us know that it is not the only aspect. Regular exercise coupled with proper nutrition is crucial when trying to achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

The Verdict
 Isolating one component of health is not an accurate way to gauge it. The study focuses on exercise, and exercise alone, with the intention of contradicting current public knowledge. If the study’s participants had altered their diet for the better, the exercise would have not have been detrimental to their health. Just because a study seems legitimate doesn’t mean it is. Many studies are completed with the intention of pushing boundaries or shocking the media. It’s important to conduct your own research when you read articles that contradict popular knowledge. Visit a reputable health website like or search for other peoples reactions to the claim.

Thousands of studies have proven that exercise and proper nutrition are the key to a healthy life. Don’t let one skew your perception.