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July 27, 2012

Malta is the world's laziest country

20120721_STM966

A new paper in the Lancet reports that 72% of adults in Malta get too little exercise. 

Scientists "led by Pedro Hallal of the Federal University of Pelotas, in Brazil... were able to pool data from 122 countries, covering 89% of the world's population."

According to an article in the July 21 issue of The Economist, "Swaziland and Saudi Arabia slouch in close behind, with 69%. In Bangladesh, by contrast, just 5% of adults fail to exercise enough."

More from The Economist: "Paradoxically, human beings seem to have evolved to benefit from exercise while eschewing it whenever they can."

They got that right when it comes to yours truly: Though I'm running a half-marathon pretty much monthly now — and have been since last fall — I rarely meet anyone as lazy and eager to avoid working out as myself.

Below, the abstract of the Lancet paper.

Global physical activity levels: surveillance progress, pitfalls, and prospects

To implement effective non-communicable disease prevention programmes, policy makers need data for physical activity levels and trends. In this report, we describe physical activity levels worldwide with data for adults (15 years or older) from 122 countries and for adolescents (13—15-years-old) from 105 countries. Worldwide, 31·1% (95% CI 30·9—31·2) of adults are physically inactive, with proportions ranging from 17·0% (16·8—17·2) in southeast Asia to about 43% in the Americas and the eastern Mediterranean. Inactivity rises with age, is higher in women than in men, and is increased in high-income countries. The proportion of 13—15-year-olds doing fewer than 60 min of physical activity of moderate to vigorous intensity per day is 80·3% (80·1—80·5); boys are more active than are girls. Continued improvement in monitoring of physical activity would help to guide development of policies and programmes to increase activity levels and to reduce the burden of non-communicable diseases.

July 27, 2012 at 04:01 PM | Permalink


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