According to a study led by the World Health Organization (WHO), more than a quarter of the world’s adults, or 1.4 billion people, do not get enough exercise. This puts them at an increased risk for non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, dementia, and cancer. Lack of exercise is one of the leading risk factors for premature death worldwide. While other major global health risks are mostly on the decline, levels of physical activity globally have not improved at all since 2001. The study examined surveys from 1.9 million adults in 168 countries. The recommended amount of physical activity required to maintain one’s health is 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week. In 2016, one-third of women and one-fourth of men did not meet this standard. In fact, women were less active than men in all regions of the world except for East and Southeast Asia. The worst countries for physical exercise were Kuwait, American Samoa, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq, where more than half of adults did not get enough exercise. These numbers were likely high due to certain government restrictions, many of which target women. Those numbers were 40 percent in the United States, 36 percent in Britain, and 14 percent in China. The study also found that high-income countries were much less active than low-income countries. On average, rich countries had an inactivity rate of about 37 percent, whereas for poor countries it was 16 percent. Furthermore, the rate of inactivity in rich countries has increased by about 5 percent since 2001. The countries with the lowest level of inactivity were Uganda and Mozambique, at only 6 percent. Researchers believe that a switch towards more sedentary forms of work, recreation, and transportation have led to the decrease in activity levels found in rich countries. In poorer countries, people still tend to do a lot more physical activity as part of their everyday life. Becoming more active has enormous and easily achievable benefits for everyone. These include better muscular and cardio-respiratory fitness, better bone health, weight control, and lower risks for a slew of illnesses. The WHO researchers have called for governments around the world to take steps to promote activity among their citizens. These include building infrastructure that promotes walking, cycling, and active recreational sports. The WHO has set a goal of reducing global inactivity by 10 percent by 2025. But if things continue as they are, that goal will not be met.
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1. What are the consequences of lack of activities?
2. Worldwide, which people are less active?
3. What have the WHO researchers called for governments to do?
1. What do you think are the causes of lack of activity?
2. What types of measures has the Korean governmrent taken to promote activity among citizens?
3. What do you do to increase activity in your daily life?