Monday April 22, 2019

Exercising Too Little Puts Your Health At Risk: WHO

In wealthier countries, the researchers said, a transition toward more sedentary jobs as well as sedentary forms of recreation and transport could explain higher levels of inactivity.

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Good habits
Exercising Regularly can keep your brain healthy. VOA

More than a quarter of the world’s adults — 1.4 billion people — exercise too little, putting them at higher risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, dementia and cancers, according to a World Health Organization-led study.

In 2016, around one in three women and one in four men worldwide were not reaching the recommended levels of physical activity to stay healthy — at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise a week.

There has been no improvement in global levels of physical activity since 2001, according to the study, which was conducted by WHO researchers and published Tuesday in The Lancet Global Health.

The highest rates of lack of exercise in 2016 were in adults in Kuwait, American Samoa, Saudi Arabia and Iraq, where more than half of all adults were not active enough to protect their health.

Exercise
Inactivity Puts Quarter of Adults’ Health at Risk, WHO Says. Pixabay

By comparison, around 40 percent of adults in the United States, 36 percent in Britain and 14 percent in China did too little exercise to stay healthy.

“Unlike other major global health risks, levels of insufficient physical activity are not falling worldwide, on average, and over a quarter of all adults are not reaching the recommended levels of physical activity for good health,” said Regina Guthold of the WHO, who co-led the research.

Noncommunicable diseases

The WHO says insufficient physical activity is one of the leading risk factors for premature death worldwide. It raises the risk of noncommunicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes.

By becoming more active, it says, people can easily achieve benefits such as improve muscular and cardiorespiratory fitness, better bone health, weight control and reduced risk of hypertension, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, depression and various types of cancer.

Exercise
Heart patients should focus on exercise than weight loss. Pixabay

The study found that levels of low physical activity were more than twice as great in high-income countries compared with poorer nations, and had increased by 5.0 percent in richer countries from 2001 to 2016.

Also Read: Eating in 10-hour Window May Boost Health

In wealthier countries, the researchers said, a transition toward more sedentary jobs as well as sedentary forms of recreation and transport could explain higher levels of inactivity. In less well-off countries, people tend to be more active at work and for transport, they said.

They urged governments to take note of these changes and put in place infrastructures that promote walking and cycling for transport and active sports and recreation. (VOA)

Next Story

Avoid Smoking During Pregnancy To Prevent Premature Births

The negative health impacts of cigarette smoking during pregnancy, including low birth weight, delayed intrauterine development, pre-term birth, infant mortality, and long-term developmental delays, are well known. 

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smoking
The researcher plans to look at quit rates and smoking intensity and their impact on the risk of infant mortality. Pixabay

Expecting mothers, take note. As smoking during pregnancy is linked with negative health outcomes, a team of researchers has found that smoking cessation during pregnancy may reduce the risk of pre-term birth.

The findings, published in the JAMA Network Open journal, showed that the probability of pre-term birth decreased with earlier smoking cessation in pregnancy — up to a 20 per cent relative decrease if cessation occurred at the beginning of pregnancy.

baby
If we determine quitting, and quitting early, reduces the risk of infant mortality, then that may speak to mothers even more saliently about the importance of smoking cessation. Pixabay

“Of concern, though, given the substantial benefits of smoking cessation during pregnancy is that the proportion of pre-pregnancy smokers who quit smoking during pregnancy has remained essentially stagnant since 2011,” said lead author Samir Soneji from The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice in the US.

For the study, the researchers conducted a cross-sectional study of more than 25 million pregnant women who gave birth to live neonates during a six-year period — measuring their smoking frequency three months prior to pregnancy and for each trimester during pregnancy.

The negative health impacts of cigarette smoking during pregnancy, including low birth weight, delayed intrauterine development, pre-term birth, infant mortality, and long-term developmental delays, are well known.

But the good news is that the proportion of women who start their pregnancy as smokers has been declining in recent years, the researchers said.

smoking

The findings, published in the JAMA Network Open journal, showed that the probability of pre-term birth decreased with earlier smoking cessation in pregnancy — up to a 20 per cent relative decrease if cessation occurred at the beginning of pregnancy. Pixabay

However, the study also found that only about 25 per cent of women who smoked prior to pregnancy were able to quit throughout their pregnancy, and approximately 50 per cent of women who smoked during their pregnancy did so with high frequency (more than 10 cigarettes per day).

The researcher plans to look at quit rates and smoking intensity and their impact on the risk of infant mortality.

Also Read: How Netflix Binge-Watching Can Lead You The “Mean World Syndrome”

“Thankfully most premature babies end up doing well,” he said.

“But premature birth is strongly linked to infant mortality. If we determine quitting, and quitting early, reduces the risk of infant mortality, then that may speak to mothers even more saliently about the importance of smoking cessation,” he added. (IANS)