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A quarter of people are not being active enough to stay healthy

BMJ 2018; 362 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k3796 (Published 05 September 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;362:k3796
  1. Jacqui Thornton
  1. London

More than a quarter of the world’s adult population—1.4 billion people—are at risk of disease from not doing enough physical activity, a study has found.

Researchers from the World Health Organization found that the highest rates of insufficient activity in 2016 were in adults in Kuwait (67%), American Samoa (53%), Saudi Arabia (53%), and Iraq (52%), where more than half of people do not do enough to stay healthy.1 Around 40% of adults in the United States, 36% in the United Kingdom, and 14% in China were insufficiently active, putting them at greater risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, dementia, and some cancers.

Countries with the lowest rates of insufficient physical activity in 2016 were Uganda and Mozambique (6% each).

The study, …

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