Thu, Sep 06, 2018 - Page 6 News List

A quarter of adults too inactive, putting health at risk: study

NO BETTER:Unlike other global health risks, there has been no improvement, with the worst levels seen in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and American Samoa

Reuters

More than one-quarter of the world’s adults — or 1.4 billion people — exercise too little, putting them at higher risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, dementia and cancers, a WHO-led study showed.

In 2016, about one in three women and one in four men worldwide were not reaching the recommended levels of physical activity to stay healthy — at least 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise a week.

There has been no improvement in global levels of physical activity since 2001, according to the study, which was conducted by WHO researchers and published on Tuesday in the Lancet Global Health journal.

The highest rates of lack of exercise in 2016 were in adults in Kuwait, American Samoa, Saudi Arabia and Iraq, where more than half of all adults were not active enough to protect their health.

By comparison, about 40 percent of adults in the US, 36 percent in Britain and 14 percent in China did too little exercise to stay healthy.

“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 Regina Guthold of the WHO, who coled the research.

Insufficient physical activity is one of the leading risk factors for premature death worldwide and raises the risk of noncommunicable diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes, the WHO said.

By becoming more active, people can easily achieve benefits such as improved muscular and cardio-respiratory fitness, better bone health, weight control and reduced risk of hypertension, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, depression and various types of cancer, the group said.

The study found that levels of low physical activity were more than twice as great in high-income countries compared with poorer nations, and had increased by 5 percent in richer nations from 2001 to 2016.

In wealthier countries, a transition toward more sedentary jobs and sedentary forms of recreation and transport could explain higher levels of inactivity, the researchers said, adding that in less well-off nations, people tend to be more active at work and for transport.

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