Lack of activity a medical condition?

When deconditioned people try to exercise, they may tire quickly and experience dizziness or other discomfort, then give up trying to exercise and find the problem gets worse rather than better.

A sedentary lifestyle is a common cause of obesity, and excessive body weight and fat in turn are considered catalysts for diabetes, high blood pressure, joint damage and other serious health problems. But what if lack of exercise itself were treated as a medical condition? Mayo Clinic physiologist Michael Joyner, M.D., argues that it should be. His commentary is published this month in The Journal of Physiology.

He maintains that physicians should consider prescribing carefully monitored exercise before medication.