Bangladesh women more at health risk than men due to inactivity

Henrietta Brewer
September 8, 2018

There has been no improvement in global levels of physical activity since 2001, according to the study, which was conducted by World Health Organization (WHO) researchers and published on Tuesday in The Lancet Global Health journal.

Physical activity - which includes all everyday movement, not just exercise - lowers the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, some forms of cancer and dementia, and improves mental health and weight control.

The data showed that if current trends continue, the 2025 global activity target of a 10 per cent relative reduction in insufficient physical activity will not be met, the researchers said.

Countries in the West that had more income showed a greater increase in the people that didn't meet the exercise recommendation. Countries such as Bangladesh, Eritrea, India and Iraq registered a twenty percent or more difference in physical activity levels between men and women. During 2016, activity levels of 1.9 million people in 168 countries around the world were tracked.


Adults are generally encouraged to do 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity a week.

Although high-income countries have a higher prevalence of insufficient physical activity, low- and middle-income countries still bear the larger share of the global disease burden of physical inactivity. This is largely influenced by China, the authors stated, with leisure-time activity rising in the most populated country in the region, possibly through increased physical activity and use of public parks among its growing elderly population. In 2001, there were only 31% people that exercised less compared to 37% in 2016.

Women were less active than men (23.4 percent women compared to 31.7 percent men).

Steven Ward, chief executive of the charity UK Active, said: "Inactivity is the cause of 20,000 premature deaths in the UK each..." More than half of all adults there were not active enough to protect their health.


Guthold said the link between the lifestyle in wealthier nations - more time indoors, longer office hours, more easily accessible high-calorie foods - and lower exercise levels, was part of a "clear pattern" of poorer health coming with urbanisation.

Nearly a third of Australians aren't getting enough exercise, according to new global research. According to reports the doctors have warned that in about two decades the global activity levels have remained virtually unchanged. Publication of levels of participation in children and young people are forthcoming. In it, she said in certain parts of the world women face more environmental, social and cultural barriers to participate in physical activity.

-Insufficient physical activity is a leading risk factor for non-communicable diseases, and has a negative effect on mental health and quality of life.


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