Print Edition - 2018-09-09 | News
More than 13pc Nepalis lead a sedentary life
- WHO Study
A quarter of the global population is physically inactive, increasing the risk of non-communicable diseases
Sep 9, 2018-More than 13 percent of Nepalis are physically inactive, a new study has revealed. The levels of insufficient activity are higher among women at 15.6 percent, while the prevalence was 11.2 percent among men.
The study undertaken by World Health Organization (WHO) and published by Lancet Global Health journal points out that a quarter of the global population is physically inactive, increasing the risk of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) because they are not exercising enough. Conducted between 2001 and 2016, the study shows that inactivity levels are more than twice as high in wealthier countries compared to countries with lower incomes. In high-income regions inactivity levels even increased by five percent.
“Physical inactivity affects the normal functioning of muscles, bones and nerves, which results in pain in various parts of the body. It also affects the pumping of heart and metabolism, thereby causing various NCDs,” Senior Consultant Medical Generalist Dr Bhola Ram Shrestha told the Post.
“The human body requires physical activity to function properly. Regular physical activity reduces the risk of various diseases to a large extent,” he added.
Physical inactivity increases the risk of NCDs such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and breast and colon cancer. Regular exercise can help prevent hypertension, overweight and obesity and can improve mental health and quality of life.
“People have busy lives but they should manage to squeeze in an hour or a half to do normal exercises and it can be done at home,” CrossFit certified instructor Shirish Rajbhandari told the Post.
“Exercises such as squats, push-ups, sit-ups, skipping and running for 30 minutes or more will keep you physically active,” he added.
According to the Nepal Health Research Council (NHRC) data, a third of the country’s population has hypertension and 15 percent has diabetes; 44 percent deaths are attributed to NCDs, while around 10,000 people are diagnosed with cancer every year. The data also shows 18 percent of the population is overweight--with 4 percent people obese.
“Women are affected the most because they are usually indoors, right from childhood, due to which their body remains largely inactive. This affects Vitamin D levels in the body, which is responsible for maintaining healthy levels of calcium, phosphate and magnesium,” Endocrinologist Dr Indu KC told the Post.
“Women should spend more time outdoors and involve themselves in various sports from an early age as household work is not enough. Adults should specially engage in physical activity to minimise the risk of NCDs,” she added.
Published: 09-09-2018 07:23