Global exercise levels did not improve significantly between 2001 and 2016, and the World Health Organization is not on track to meet its 2025 target of reducing physical inactivity by 10 percent. Those in low income countries worked out more compared those in high income group.
High-income countries (37%) also recorded much higher levels of physical inactivity in 2016 in comparison to middle-income (26%) and low-income (16%) countries. And compared to male counterparts, women were found to be least active except two places in Asia.
The BBC report quotes that in the United Kingdom alone, 40 per cent of women were found to be inactive whereas the figure was 32 per cent for men.
The authors arrived at these findings after pooling data from 358 population-based surveys across 168 countries, representing some 1.9 million people. Nearly one in three women (32%) were physically inactive in 2016, compared to just one in four (23%) men.
However, while Western countries showed a slight decrease in physical activity, the opposite happened in east and southeast Asian countries, which registered healthy gains in both their economies and their exercise levels between 2001 and 2016.
It's also found globally activity levels haven't changed in almost two decades.
Countries with higher incomes tended to show higher rates of inactivity.
WEDNESDAY, Sept. 5, 2018 (HealthDay News) - Couch potatoes, take note: Sedentary living has put more than one quarter of the world's adults at risk for serious disease, a new study says. Insufficient physical activity is a leading risk factor for non-communicable diseases like cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, and breast and colon cancer. Each of the surveys asked participants about how much physical activity they did through work, household tasks, transportation and leisure time.
In wealthier countries, the researchers said, a transition toward more sedentary jobs as well as sedentary forms of recreation and transport could explain higher levels of inactivity.
They acknowledged new policies in global and national level, but said implementation will require "bold leadership and full engagement" across sectors to change the current approach.
"While declines in occupational and domestic physical activity are inevitable, it is essential to incentivize transport and leisure-time physical activity in emerging economies through improving public and active transportation infrastructure, promoting social norms for physical activity through mass sports and school-level participation, and implementing sustainable programmes at scale that could yield economic, environmental, and social co-benefits while promoting physical activity", said Melody Ding from the University of Sydney.
"We need to turn this around and make physical activity as part of your daily life the easiest, most convenient approach", Knell said.