Not enough exercise contributes to cancer, diabetes, depression and other non-communicable diseases, according to the United Nations health agency, which is urging people to get up and get active.
According to a new document by the World Health Organization (WHO), less and less people are active in many countries – with nearly a quarter of all adults and more than 80 per cent of adolescents being too sedentary.
WHO's Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of NCDs 2013-2020 recommends that inactive people start with “small amounts of physical activity” and then gradually increase duration, frequency and intensity over time.
Physical activity can be any activity, not just sport, that uses energy – from playing and doing household chores to gardening and dancing.
“Any activity, be it for work, to walk or cycle to and from places, or as part of leisure time, has a health benefit,” according to the UN agency.