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Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

1.8 Billion at Risk Due to Inactivity


Wed 26 Jun 2024 | 12:27 PM
Israa Farhan

A new report by the World Health Organization (WHO) warns that nearly 1.8 billion adults worldwide face heightened risks of cancer, stroke, dementia, and diabetes due to insufficient exercise.

Released on Wednesday, the report highlights a concerning trend: physical inactivity has surged by five percentage points globally from 2010 to 2022, with approximately 31% of adults failing to meet exercise guidelines.

The study, published in The Lancet Global Health journal, indicates that 34% of women and 29% of men remain inactive.

If current trends persist, the report predicts that 35% of the global population will be inactive by 2030.

"Physical inactivity is a silent threat to global health, significantly contributing to the burden of chronic diseases," Rüdiger Krech, Director of the WHO's Health Promotion Department, stated.

"Unfortunately the world is not going in the right direction."

Krech emphasized that reducing the risk of non-communicable diseases is possible "by making physical activity accessible, affordable, and enjoyable."

The WHO defines physical activity as all movement, including leisure activities, transport, work, and domestic chores.

It recommends adults engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity weekly.

Moderate activities include brisk walking and heavy cleaning, while vigorous activities encompass hiking, jogging, and shoveling.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO Director-General, underscored the report's findings as a missed opportunity to mitigate risks of chronic diseases and improve mental health through increased physical activity.

"We must renew our commitments to increasing levels of physical activity and prioritize bold action, including strengthened policies and increased funding, to reverse this worrying trend."

High-income countries are slightly reducing inactivity rates but are still off track, the report said.