Cyprus is among the ten laziest nations in the world, with 44 per cent failing to exercise enough to keep themselves healthy, a new study published by the journal Lancet has found.
The study was done by the World Health Organisation, which recommends people should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity, or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity per week, or any equivalent combination of the two.
Kuwait has the lowest levels of physical activity, with 67 per cent failing to hit the recommended targets, followed by American Samoa (53.4 per cent) and Saudi Arabia (53 per cent). Cyprus is number seven, behind Costa Rica (46.1 per cent)
At the other end of the scale is Uganda where a mere 5.5 per cent don’t exercise enough.
“If current trends continue, the 2025 global physical activity target (a 10 per cent relative reduction in insufficient physical activity) will not be met,” the Lancet article said. “Policies to increase population levels of physical activity need to be prioritised and scaled up urgently.”
The study points out that the health benefits of physical activity are well established and include a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, and breast and colon cancer. Additionally, physical activity has positive effects on mental health, delays the onset of dementia, and can help the maintenance of a healthy weight.
“Globally, in 2016, more than a quarter of all adults was not getting enough physical activity. This puts more than 1·4 billion adults at risk of developing or exacerbating diseases linked to inactivity, and needs to be urgently addressed,” the report warns.
Earlier this year the World Health Organisation revealed its latest figures show that of all Europeans, Cypriots have the highest rate of overweight and obese children, 43 per cent of both boys and girls.