Around the globe, the U.S. accounts for two-fifths of the $67 billion in losses tied to physical inactivity. (Photo: iStock)

It’s been deemed one of the 10 leading risk factors for death, but it turns out that physical inactivity also comes with a hefty tab — $67.5 billion, to be exact.

The first study quantifying the global costs of sloth was published Thursday in the scientific journal The Lancet, finding what researchers labeled a conservative estimate of the economic burden caused by inactivity.

More than 40 percent of that total, $27.8 billion, is attributed to the U.S., illustrating a gap between high- and low-income countries. Lower- and middle-income countries shared 75 percent of the disease burden but less than 20 percent of the economic burden, said Melody Ding, lead author of the study and a senior research fellow at the University of Sydney’s school of public health.

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