• STV
  • MySTV

One billion adults worldwide at risk from lack of exercise

One quarter of the world’s population were unhealthily inactive in 2016, say researchers.

An obese person
Dominic Lipinski / PA Wire

More than a billion adults around the world are at risk of serious disease through lack of exercise, a study has shown.

Investigators found that in 2016 more than a quarter of the global population - 1.4 billion people - were insufficiently active.

As a result, they faced an increased risk of heart and artery disease, Type 2 diabetes, dementia, and some cancers.

The research conducted by the World Health Organisation shows there was little progress in improving physical activity levels between 2001 and 2016.

If current trends continue, the global target of reducing sedentary lifestyle by 10% by 2025 will not be met, said the scientists.

Study leader Dr Regina Guthold, from the WHO in Switzerland, said: "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."

The study was based on self-reported activity levels both at work and at home and during travel and leisure time.

Researchers analysed information from 1.9 million men and women who participated in 358 population surveys.

They found that in 2016, around one in three women (32%) and 23% of men worldwide were not attaining recommended healthy levels of physical activity - at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity, or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity per week.

High-income Western countries displayed the greatest increase in the proportion of people taking insufficient exercise over the study period, a rise from 31% in 2001 to 37% in 2016.

In the UK, 40% of women and 32% of men were insufficiently active in 2016.

Countries with the worst physical activity record included Kuwait, American Samoa, a US territory in the South Pacific, Saudi Arabia and Iraq. In each of these countries, more than half the adult population was insufficiently active.

The findings appear in The Lancet Global Health journal.

Dr Guthold added: "Regions with increasing levels of insufficient physical activity are a major concern for public health and the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases."

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
ShowHide
Forgot password?
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This must be at least 6 characters long.
ShowHide
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long.
You must be over 16 to join STV.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
We need this to check that you live in an STV region.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid postcode
Would you like us to email you about our great shows and services from time to time?
We'll only send emails we think you'll like (see example) based on information you have supplied and shows you have watched on STV Player. For details on emails and advertising, see our STV & You page.
Would you like to receive emails from the Scottish Children's Lottery about draws, instant games and competitions?
We support the Scottish Children's Lottery (SCL), which is managed by our colleagues at STV ELM Ltd. You can find out more about the SCL on its website, including its Privacy Policy.

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, and understand our Privacy and Cookie Policies.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.

Oops!

Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.

Oops!

Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.