1.4 billion risk disease from lack of exercise

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Researchers say that puts people at risk for health issues like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, dementia and certain types of cancer.

-At least 34 per cent of India's population is insufficiently active, The levels of insufficient activity were higher among women at 48 per cent, while the prevalence was 22 per cent among men, says the study.

In Kuwait, American Samoa, Saudi Arabia and Iraq, more than half of all adults have insufficient physical activity.

"Over a quarter of all adults are not reaching the recommended levels of physical activity for good health". The data show that if current trends continue, the 2025 global activity target of a 10% relative reduction in insufficient physical activity will not be met.

A World Health Organization study based on surveys across 168 countries says about half of women and a quarter of men in India are not sufficiently active.

The surveys took note of physical activity in work, at home, for transport and during leisure time - so we have no excuses.

Women were less active than men, with an over 8% difference at the global level (32% men vs 23%, women).

"Collaboration across sectors could generate significant returns, because policies that support increasing physical activity can provide other benefits to health, local economies, community wellbeing, and environmental sustainability, and contribute towards achieving numerous 2030 SDGs", The Lancet concluded.

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The researchers point out that as countries prosper, the amount of occupation and domestic activity decline as more people work sedentary jobs, technology increases, public transport is more accessible and personal vehicles are more attainable.

The greatest levels of insufficient activity comparing women and men appeared in South Asia (43 versus 24 per cent), Central Asia, Middle East and north Africa (40 versus 26 per cent), and high-income Western countries (42 versus 31 per cent).

The BBC report quotes that in the United Kingdom alone, 40 per cent of women were found to be inactive whereas the figure was 32 per cent for men. "Such policies are particularly important in countries with rapid urbanisation, such as Argentina, Brazil, and Colombia, which contribute to the high levels of insufficient activity in Latin America and the Caribbean".

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.

"We definitely haven't done enough" to encourage people to exercise, the lead study author of WHO, Regina Guthold, told AFP.

Steven Ward, chief executive of the charity UK Active, said: "Inactivity is the cause of 20,000 premature deaths in the UK each..." Publication of levels of participation in children and young people are forthcoming. She added that they can also improve environments so more people can walk, cycle or physically move in other ways.

The study's release comes ahead of the Third United Nations General Assembly High-level Meeting on NCDs and their risk factors, including physical inactivity, being held on 27 September 2018 in NY.

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