The Compression of Morbidity Theory
13th August 2013
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Many of us are aware that healthy lifestyle choices such as non-smoking, regular exercise and a diet rich in fruit, vegetables, oily fish and wholegrains is likely to increase mortality or life expectancy. However, what influence can lifestyle choices have on morbidity, which is the presence of a disease that reduces quality of life? This is of particular interest when aiming to change the behaviour of individuals who seem willing to accept that unhealthy lifestyle will reduce life expectancy but may not be aware that they could be subjected to a long period of morbidity and disease prior to death.


The “compression of morbidity theory” has been studied by Fries who reported that running and other vigorous exercise for 280mins a week could increase life expectancy by 8 years. More interestingly, exercise can delay the onset of morbidity by 12 years suggesting that the period of morbidity can be reduced. While this study only considers exercise and ignores many other variables, it is likely that focusing on other areas of health such as nutrition, stress management and sleep quality could further reduce the period of morbidity. Nuffield Health Farnham has the facilities and experts onsite to support lifestyle change and optimise health and wellbeing.

About the Author

Jason R

Member since: 12th August 2013

Jason is the Clinic Manager at Nuffield Health Farnham. His team of experts include; Nutritional Therapists, Physiotherapists, a GP and physiologists. The team work hard to ensure that patients gain specific...

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