World Health Organisation says more than one in four people at higher risk of many diseases due to lack of exercise 8 months ago

World Health Organisation says more than one in four people at higher risk of many diseases due to lack of exercise

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has revealed that a quarter of the world's population is at increased risk of many life-threatening diseases.

The report is a result of a study that monitored the physical activity of 1.9 million people across 168 countries, including Ireland.

The study found that 23% of people globally aren't doing enough exercise — and are leaving themselves at a heightened risk for heart and artery disease, Type 2 diabetes, dementia, and some cancers.

In four territories (Kuwait, American Samoa, Saudi Arabia and Iraq), as many as half of all adults were found to be dangerously inactive.

Globally, 27·5% of respondents to the huge survey were not doing enough — 23.5% of men and 31% of women.

For high-income western countries, a category that includes Ireland, average insufficient activity was more than a third, clocking in at 36.8% (31.2% for men and 42.3% for women). The best performing country was Finland and the worst performing country was Cyprus.

The WHO suggests "at least 150 min of moderate-intensity, or 75 min of vigorous-intensity physical activity per week, or any equivalent combination of the two)".

The study was published in the Lancet Global Health Journal.