Physical activities

Insufficient physical activities for half of urban Indians: ICMR study

More than half of urban Indians engage in insufficient physical activity, making them vulnerable to diabetes, hypertension and other non-communicable diseases, according to one of India’s largest studies of people’s physical activity .

While 41% of Indians do not engage in enough physical activity nationally, the number jumps to over 52% when it comes to urban adults, who simply do not engage in enough physical activity at work. or at home; or while traveling or during their leisure time engaging in sports, fitness and other recreational activities.

The ICMR National Center for Informatics and Disease Research generated the data by surveying 12,000 Indians between the ages of 18 and 69 in 300 municipal wards and an equal number of villages in 2017-2018.

“A worrying trend is a much lower level of physical activity among women compared to men, even though women have a higher BMI,” said Prashant Mathur, director of NCDIR and corresponding author of the study. DH.

Every day, men devote nearly two hours to various forms of physical activity while women devote only 55 minutes. “Women don’t have the time or the opportunities because traditionally they are mostly at home,” he said.

The baseline data would be used to determine India’s progress in improving its burden of non-communicable diseases for which the government had set ten targets. One of these targets is to reduce physical inactivity by 10% from baseline by 2025.

In a major study published in The Lancet last year, an international team of researchers showed that global progress in improving physical activity has stalled and that the total number of deaths associated with inactivity remains at more than 5 million people per year.

Physical inactivity is linked to an increased risk of non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and some cancers and costs at least $54 billion a year worldwide in direct health care costs, including $31 billion dollars are paid by the public sector.

Slow progress in improving physical activity around the world has been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, with lockdowns associated with less physical activity overall.

The ICMR study found that insufficient physical activity was significantly higher among urban respondents (51.7%) than among rural respondents (36.1%). Economic growth, rapid urbanization and poor planning in urban areas have led to environmental problems, disrupted lifestyle and reduced physical activity.

Inadequate physical activities are also significantly related to unemployment, wealth, central obesity and high blood pressure.

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