More than one in four adults globally (28 per cent or 1.4 billion people) are physically inactive, says a new data published in The Lancet Global Health. However, this can be as high as one in three adults inactive in some counties, the data revealed.
The paper, authored by four World Health Organization experts, reports data that update 2008 estimates on levels of activity and, for the first time, reports trend analyses showing that overall, the global level of inactivity in adults remains largely unchanged since 2001.
Women were less active than men, with an over 8 per cent difference at the global level (32 per cent men vs 23 per cent women). High income countries are more inactive (37 per cent) compared with middle income (26 per cent) and low income countries (16 per cent).
These data show the need for all countries to increase the priority given to national and sub-national actions to provide the environments that support physical activity and increase the opportunities for people of all ages and abilities, to be active every day.
The new Global Action Plan on Physical Activity sets the target to reduce physical inactivity by 10 per cent by 2025 and 15 per cent by 2030.
Regular physical inactivity increases peoples risk of poor health, including cardiovascular disease, several types of cancer and diabetes, falls, as well as mental health conditions.
Publication of levels of participation in children and young people are forthcoming.