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More than 34% Indians insufficiently active: WHO study

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NEW DELHI: At least 34 per cent of India’s population are not active enough to stay healthy, according to a latest study released by the World Health Organisation.

The study noted that globally more than 1.4 billion adults are at risk of diseases from not doing enough physical activity.

The study also said that if the current trends continue, the 2025 global activity target of a 10% relative reduction in insufficient physical activity will not be met.

Speaking to DTMT, Dr KK Aggarwal, President, Health Care Foundation of India, said, “The negative health effects of a sedentary lifestyle are well known. White collar workers or people who have desk jobs spend most of their working hours sitting in chairs.”

He said, “Interventions that encourage walking and physical activity in the workplace are needed to counter the negative health effects of sedentary behavior. Exercise has various benefits including preventing weight gain, controlling blood sugar levels, and other conditions. A minimum of 30 minutes of physical activity every day is very beneficial.”

Dr Aggarwal suggested that the various health benefits of walking are well recognized. It has been shown in a study published earlier this year in the American Journal of Epidemiology that lack of exercise affects the human body right up to the cellular level.

“Elderly women who sit for more than 10 hours a day with low physical activity had cells that were biologically older by eight years compared to women who are more active,” he added.

He said, “Small and gradual changes can be made in the family so that no one is left out. This will also be encouraging for youngsters with adults setting examples for a healthy lifestyle. Such changes can also help people in losing weight and make better eating choices.”

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