Lack of train places one in 4 individuals in danger, WHO says

Quarter of world's population 'not active enough to stay healthy'

Inactivity raises the risk of a raft of health problems, such as heart disease, type-2 diabetes and some cancers.

More Irish women than men are getting "insufficient physical activity", new data shows.

The study which provides the most comprehensive global estimates of the prevalence and trends of physical activity to date, included 358 surveys from 168 countries totalling 1·9 million people. Half as many people are sufficiently active in affluent countries as in the developing world, where many people still labour every day.

WHO's Dr Regina Guthold, who led the research, said: "Unlike other major global health risks, levels of insufficient physical activity are not falling worldwide, on average".

"Regions with increasing levels of insufficient physical activity are a major concern for public health and the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs)", said Dr Guthold.

If current trends continue, the study's authors warn that the target set by the WHO's Global Action Plan on Physical Activity of a 10% reduction in physical inactivity by 2025 will not be met.

A World Health Organization study based on surveys across 168 countries says about half of women and a quarter of men in India are not sufficiently active.

These people reported their activity at home, work, during travel and leisure time.

In the United Kingdom, inactivity levels in 2016 were 36% overall - 32% of men and 40% of women.

Those who were classed as inactive did less than 150 minutes of moderate exercise - or 75 minutes at a vigorous intensity - a week.

Experts say the results are concerning because they imply that federal health initiatives don't have a big impact on physical activity in Americans.

In 2016, levels of insufficient activity among adults varied widely across income groups - 16% in low-income countries compared to 37% in high-income countries.

The difference in inactivity also was notable between the sexes - 23.4 percent among men vs. 31.7 percent among women.

This is compared to global figures in 2016 with indicates that 27.5 percent of the world population aren't getting enough physical activity.

Steven Ward, chief executive of the charity UK Active, said: "Inactivity is the cause of 20,000 premature deaths in the UK each..." "A large number of youth are jobless, the country is mired in crisis related to terrorism, and inflation is high... how can people manage to devote themselves to healthy activities in such times?"

The authors of the study note that these inequalities have to be addressed globally, for example by giving women improved access to exercise that is affordable, safe and accepted in their culture.

China and Russian Federation had relatively low ratios of physically inactive adults at 14 percent and 17 percent, respectively. Publication of levels of participation in children and young people are forthcoming.

"We have seen basically no progress".

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