500 million people risk heart disease, diabetes due to lack of physical exercise

The World Health Organization (WHO) says that 500 million people worldwide will develop heart disease, obesity, diabetes or other non-communicable diseases (NCDs) due to a lack of exercise.

A sedentary lifestyle is dangerous

Medics say a sedentary life is not healthy as it damages the nerves, and leads to poor blood circulation, muscle loss, increased blood pressure and increased blood sugar, which are all risk factors for heart disease, diabetes, and cognitive decline, among others.

The global status report on physical activity 2022 which measures the extent to which governments are implementing recommendations to increase physical activity across all ages and abilities, shows that more and more people are now living sedentary lifestyles, spending more than eight hours every day, either seated on office desks or in a couch in front of TV sets.

Data from 194 countries show that overall, reveal that countries need to accelerate the development and implementation of policies to increase heart rates, prevent disease and thereby reduce the burden on already overwhelmed health services.

The WHO recommends that countries encourage physical activity through walking, cycling, sport, and other physical activity. WHO adds that says a lack of physical activity costs around $27 billion in extra healthcare costs.

“The benefits are huge, not only for the physical and mental health of individuals, but also for societies, environments, and economies…We hope countries and partners will use this report to build more active, healthier, and fairer societies for all,” said WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

To help countries increase physical activity, WHO’s Global action plan on physical activity 2018-2030 sets out 20 policy recommendations including safer roads to encourage more biking and walking and providing more programmes and opportunities for physical activity in areas such as childcare, schools, primary health care and the workplace.

Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or:

Email: news@pulse.ug