More than 1.4 billion adults face a higher risk for heart disease, diabetes, dementia and certain types of cancer because they get too little physical activity, World Health Organization (WHO) researchers concluded.
The researchers analysed findings from hundreds of surveys that included 1.9 million adults, 18 and older, in 168 countries.
In 2016, nearly one-third of women and one-quarter of men worldwide did not get the recommended levels of physical activity to stay healthy, the researchers found. Weekly guidelines call for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity.
The study was published in The Lancet Global Health.
“Unlike other major global health risks, levels of insufficient physical activity are not falling worldwide, on average, and over a quarter of all adults are not reaching the recommended levels of physical activity for good health,” lead author Regina Guthold said in a journal news release.
Women were less active than men in all regions of the world except in East and Southeast Asia.