1.4 billion risk disease from lack of exercise

Henrietta Strickland
September 10, 2018

The World Health Organisation says regular physical inactivity increases people's risk of poor health, including cardiovascular disease, several types of cancer and diabetes, falls, as well as mental health conditions.

The activity level has remained unchanged globally in almost two decades. Weekly guidelines call for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity.

The study by four World Health Organization experts pooled data from population-based surveys reporting the prevalence of insufficient activity across 168 countries and spanning almost 2 million people.

Researchers found there had been no improvement in physical activity levels since 2001, despite numerous public health initiatives extolling the benefits of exercise.

More than a fourth of all adults worldwide - 1.4 billion people - are not being active enough to stay healthy.

According to an author of the study, Regina Guthold, levels of inactivity are twice as high in wealthier countries, compared to lower income countries. Guthold said this could be linked to more sedentary professions and motorized transport.

In Kuwait, an oil-flush gulf state where temperatures regularly top 45 Celsius (113 Fahrenheit), a whopping two-thirds (67 percent) of adults weren't exercising enough.

As per the reports, there were various reasons due to which some countries were more active than others, including "biological, psychosocial, institutional, cultural and environmental barriers", said Melody Ding of the University of Sydney.

That's about one in every three women and one in every four men.

Women were less active than men in all regions of the world except in East and Southeast Asia.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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