September 21, 2018

1.4 billion risk disease from lack of exercise, warns WHO

07 September 2018, 07:58 | Silvia Roy

A quarter of adults are too inactive, putting health at risk

The WHO study has highlighted a health equity issue where women face more environmental social and cultural barriers to participate in physical activity

According to the new Global Action Plan on Physical Activity target, physical inactivity is to be reduced by 10 percent by 2025 and by 15 percent by 2030, write the researchers.

More than a quarter of the world's adults (1.4bn people) were insufficiently active, according to the data. Among their results, they found a large disparity between the amount of inactivity among high-income countries (37 percent) compared to low-income countries (16 percent).

High-income Western countries displayed the greatest increase in the proportion of people taking insufficient exercise over the study period, a rise from 31% in 2001 to 37% in 2016.

Interestingly, 33.6 per cent of Australian women are not getting enough exercise compared to 27 per cent of men.

Those who were classed as inactive did less than 150 minutes of moderate exercise - or 75 minutes at a vigorous intensity - a week.

The study tracked activity levels of 1.9m people in 168 countries across the world during 2016.

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The WHO study also found lower activity in women than in men, with the ratio of physically inactive adults registering 32 percent and 23 percent, respectively, in each gender.

The Ministry of Health welcomes World Health Organization (WHO) findings about global physical activity trends, which reinforces key messages about the benefits of being regularly physically active.

"The estimates demonstrate that there has been little progress in improving physical activity levels between 2001 and 2016".

In addition to the multiple health benefits of physical activity, societies that are more active can generate additional returns on investment including a reduced use of fossil fuels, cleaner air and less congested, safer roads.

Countries and regions with highest levels of inactivity include Kuwait (67 percent), American Samoa and Saudi Arabia (53 percent each) and Iraq (52 percent).

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It's also found globally activity levels haven't changed in almost two decades.

Countries with higher incomes tended to show higher rates of inactivity.

"Regions with increasing levels of insufficient physical activity are a major concern for public health and the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases", says Dr Regina Guthold lead author of the study.

"We can not just tell people that they need to exercise more; it does not work", Thompson said. Regular physical inactivity is linked to poor health, increased risk of heart disease, several types of cancers, diabetes, mental health problems etc.

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 5, 2018 (HealthDay News) - Couch potatoes, take note: Sedentary living has put more than one quarter of the world's adults at risk for serious disease, a new study says. Publication of levels of participation in children and young people are forthcoming. However this can be as high as one in three adults inactive in some counties.

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