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Worldwide unsporting behavior: A quarter of people with a lack of exercise


Lack of exercise leads to more and more diseases worldwide

Worldwide, people are less physically active. This damages both their physical and their mental health, say experts from the World Health Organization (WHO).

The World Health Organization (WHO) scientists found in a study that more and more people are physically inactive. This can damage physical and mental health. The doctors published the results of their investigation in the English-language journal "The Lancet Global Health".

People have to move more

A quarter of the world's population is simply not physically active. Especially in wealthy countries, people exercise far too little, which harms their physical and mental health. There is an urgent need to encourage more people to exercise, the researchers at the World Health Organization explain. People all over the world need to exercise more and become more physically active. For example, countries should reduce motorized traffic and promote cycling, experts say.

One in three women and one in four men do not exercise enough

Around 1.4 billion adults are not physically active enough to remain healthy, the authors of the study explain. One in three women and one in four men do not exercise enough or exercise too little. Many people often sit at work all day. Later, these people often sit in front of the television all evening. In addition, most people use their car to cover short distances. The lack of exercise and sedentary lifestyle leads to an increased risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, dementia and some types of cancer, the doctors say.

What is the minimum amount of exercise recommended?

The WHO recommended minimum amount of exercise is 150 minutes of medium intensity or 75 minutes of intense physical activity per week. Such an activity can include, for example, cycling, training in the gym or physical work in the house and gardening.

How active are people?

Inactivity or sedentary life is highest among adults in Kuwait (67 percent), American Samoa (53 percent), Saudi Arabia (53 percent) and Iraq (52 percent). But inactivity is also very high in countries like the UK. 40 percent of women do not move enough there. This also applies to 32 percent of men. In the United States, 48 ​​percent of women and 32 percent of men are not sufficiently active. Inactivity has worsened over the past 15 years in the wealthier western countries: from 31 percent in 2001 to 37 percent in 2016, the experts write.

The level of inadequate physical activity increases

Unlike other global health risks, the level of inadequate physical activity does not decrease on average worldwide, and more than a quarter of all adults do not achieve the recommended level of physical activity for good health, said lead author Dr. Regina Guthold of the World Health Organization WHO.

More than 1.4 billion adults suffer from preventable diseases

In 2016, a quarter of the world's population was not moving enough, the researchers say. This poses a risk that more than 1.4 billion adults will suffer from diseases that are associated with inactivity. National policies need to be implemented to promote non-motorized traffic, such as walking and cycling, and to promote active leisure and sport. Such strategies are particularly important in countries with rapid urbanization, such as Argentina, Brazil and Colombia.

Physical activity by women needs to be encouraged

The authors also call for more opportunities for safe and accessible leisure activities for women around the world to address the significant gender gap. What is needed are progressive, large-scale interventions, especially for women, that create safe and culturally acceptable opportunities for physical activity and enable everyone to engage in physical activity, the experts explain. (as)

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Video: Lack of exercise can be deadly (January 2022).