Wealthier Countries Need to Move More
September 18, 2018
September 18, 2018
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 1.4 billion people worldwide do not exercise enough. This represents a quarter of the world’s population.
A new WHO report has been released and it indicates that lack of exercise increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, dementia, and some cancers.
The new study is the first to look at trends in physical activity worldwide over time. The Lancet published a report about the study in early September 2018.
Scientists reviewed 358 population-based studies between 2001 and 2016. These studies included two million people in 168 countries.
Researchers wrote, the “availability of data across income groups and regions was spread fairly evenly.” The exceptions were Latin America and Caribbean countries. Nearly half of the countries did not have any data on activity levels.
The WHO released a statement saying not many people are moving enough and this is cause for concern.
Activity levels depend on a variety of things. For example: when is comes to sex, women are less active then men in all areas of the world except East and Southeast Asia.
Lead author of the report, Regina Guthold said the study also discovered a wide range of activity levels for different countries around the globe. Some nations were more active than others.
“Ranging from as low as six percent in Uganda and Mozambique to 67 percent in Kuwait. Four countries had a prevalence of inactivity of over 50 percent. That’s Kuwait, America Samoa, Saudi Arabia and Iraq. And this all refers to the year 2016.”
Another factor is wealth. The wealthier countries are more inactive than people in other countries.
The levels of inactivity in wealthier countries are twice as high as those in other countries. People spend more time sitting in offices in wealthier countries. They are more likely to use computers and other electronic devices for recreational activities and travel long distances.
People in poorer countries tend to do more physical labor. They are less likely to use motorized vehicles and that leads to being more physically active.
According to the report, to stay healthy the WHO recommends 150 minutes of moderate physical activity or 75 minutes of intense physical activity a week.
The report urges governments to provide and care for infrastructure. It is important to build safer roads, and this would help support people walking or cycling for their transportation, as well as physical recreation and sports.
There are so many options for people to help themselves get more physical activity into their day.
Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Take a walk after lunch. Take more breaks to move around during the work day. Take advantage of workplace gyms and exercise classes if they are offered. Take walks with friends and family after dinner. Join a group activity like biking or boating.
Go dancing. Stretch while watching television. Make a list of enjoyable activities that involve movement and do something different each day.
Additionally, make sure to refresh after a strenuous workout with alkaline water. It will refresh and rehydrate faster than regular water.
By Jeanette Smith
VOA: Study: Not Enough Exercise Leads to Sickness
Image Courtesy of Fit Approach’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License