Physical inactivity “a global pandemic”
More than a quarter of the world’s adult population – 1.4 billion people – are at risk of disease from not doing enough physical activity, a World Health Organization study has found.
The research, published in the Lancet Global Health Journal, found that one in three women and one in four men do not take enough exercise or move about enough, too often sitting at desks all day at work, in front of the TV in the evening and travelling by car.
That puts them at greater risk of heart disease, type-2 diabetes, dementia, and some cancers.
The minimum amount of movement recommended by the WHO is 150 minutes of moderate-intensity, or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity per week.
Inactivity has worsened over the last 15 years among the more affluent Western countries – rising from 31 per cent in 2001 to 37 per cent in 2016, and was described in Lancet as “a global pandemic”.
“Unlike other major global health risks, levels of insufficient physical activity are not falling worldwide, on average, and over a quarter of all adults are not reaching the recommended levels of physical activity for good health,” said the lead author, Dr Regina Guthold of the WHO.
“National policy needs to be implemented to encourage non-motorised modes of transportation, such as walking and cycling, and to promote participation in active recreation and sports in leisure time.”
The study also called for “more opportunities for safe and accessible leisure-time activity” for women.
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