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What are the health risks of failing to exercise?

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The health risks of failing to exercise include an increased risk of developing obesity, diabetes, cancer and heart disease, explains WebMD. A sedentary lifestyle can lead to high blood pressure and contribute to depression and anxiety, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.

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An inactive lifestyle without exercise can contribute to sleep apnea. Sitting for long periods of time affects the body's circulation and causes fluid to build up in the lower legs, which can later affect breathing when sleeping, explains Women's Health magazine. Prolonged sitting can cause cramps in the legs, soreness and an aching back. The weight of the body encourages more fat cells to generate when sitting versus standing.

Inactive lifestyles can also affect memory, according to Women's Health magazine. The brain's memory center deteriorates as people age, but a sedentary lifestyle can push the process of brain aging along. Inactive lifestyles without exercise tend to increase with age and are more common in non-Hispanic white adults and women, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.

People can reduce the risk of health problems by increasing activity and exercise, explains WebMD. NEAT, which stands for nonexercise activity thermogenesis, involves turning, bending and stretching for 10 minutes each hour to break up sedentary time.

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