The World Health Organization has released a new study showing the estimated levels of physical activity in adults across the globe, and ranked countries according to the data.
What did the study find?
After analyzing 358 surveys across 168 nations, researchers found that as of 2016, 1 in 4 adults are physically inactive. According to the study, even past statistics wouldn’t get off the couch and move — showing that “the global level of inactivity in adults remains largely unchanged since 2001.”
The WHO defines sufficient physical activity as “doing at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity, or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity per week, or any equivalent combination of the two.”
In the study, countries were ranked in accordance with the percentage of their population deemed to be insufficiently active. Uganda took the prize for having the most movers and shakers, with only 5.5 percent of its adult population not reaching the WHO’s activity threshold.
Kuwait, in contrast, was deemed the most leisurely nation on the planet, boasting that over two-thirds of its citizens couldn’t be bothered with strolling around the block enough times to be classified as sufficiently fit.
The United States came in 143rd, with an estimated 40 percent of its adults not getting enough weekly exercise. Four countries show that a majority of their populations are insufficiently active: Kuwait, American Samoa, Iraq and Saudi Arabia.
Overall, the authors found that women were less active than men, high-income countries had double the insufficient activity levels as low-income countries — and the WHO is falling short of its goal to reduce physical inactivity by 10 percent before the year 2025.
Researchers determined that “a significant increase in national action is urgently needed in most countries,” blaming sedentary occupations and vehicle reliance on the stagnant numbers.
The study said that “national policy needs to be implement to encourage non-motorized modes of transportation, such as walking or cycling, and to promote participation in active recreation and sports in leisure time.”
In particular, the authors suggested that “offering more opportunities for safe and accessible leisure-time activity to women in order to increase their overall levels of activity would…help close the gender gap [in activity levels].”