Do YOU Get Enough Exercise?
A quarter of the world’s adults don’t get enough exercise, according to a new study conducted by researchers from the World Health Organization (WHO) and published in The Lancet Global Health. The study found that 27.5% of people across the globe don’t meet the WHO’s physical activity guidelines of 75 minutes of vigorous exercise or 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. The WHO’s study was based on data from 358 surveys conducted between 2001 and 2016, including 1.9 million people from 168 countries. Although more data was available for high-income than low-income countries, the study group represented 96% of the world’s population. Each of the surveys asked participants about how much physical activity they did through work, household tasks, transportation and leisure time. During the study period, high-income Western nations saw physical inactivity rates increase from almost 31% to almost 37%, while rates remained stable—around 16%—in low-income countries. On the whole, the researchers also found that women get less exercise than men. Globally, 25.5% of men did not meet physical activity guidelines, compared to 31.5% of women. That discrepancy, the authors write, is likely related to differing gender norms related to work and recreation around the world, as well as safety and accessibility issues in many countries that prevent women from exercising. Exercise is one of the best ways to improve health and longevity and prevent chronic disease.