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Too many people in the world not active enough to stay healthy

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A quarter of the world’s population is not active enough to stay healthy, according to new research by the World Health Organisation.

In wealthier nations, the figure is even higher.

Australia ranks 97th in the world (out of 168) for the number of people getting enough physical activity.

The study found that 30.4 per cent of Australian adults do not engage in the recommended amount of activity to stay healthy.

The minimum amount recommended by the WHO is 150 minutes of moderate physical activity a week, or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity per week.

The research, first published in the Lancet Global Health journal, found that about 1.4 billion adults across the globe were not physically active enough to keep in good health, with one in three women and one in four men not exercising sufficiently or even moving about enough.

In affluent countries, about half as many people are physically active as those in poorer countries.

In the developing world, many people are involved in physical labour every day, while greater wealth often equates to a more sedentary lifestyle.

These astonishing results indicate that more people are at risk of serious health problems like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer and dementia.

Kuwait has the highest rate of inactivity, however, at 67 percent, followed by American Samoa and Saudi Arabia both, at 53 per cent, and Iraq at 52 per cent.

In the UK, 40 per cent of women and 32 per cent of men do not move enough. In the US, it is 48 per cent of women and 32 per cent of men. 

The study involved 1.9 million people in 168 countries, with participants self-tracking their activity in 2016. Once analysed and aggregated, the results meant about a quarter of the earth’s population are at risk of poor health due to insufficient physical activity.