Couch potato lifestyles are costing the National Health Service more than £1 billion a year, according to new research.
They were directly responsible for 3% of all deaths and illness in 2002, researchers found.
This landed the NHS with a £1.06 billion bill through in-patient stays, outpatient appointments, drugs, community care and visits to primary care practitioners.
Despite this “considerable public health burden” the true cost could be even higher, the study in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health warns.
Lack of exercise ‘costs NHS £1bn’