New Delhi, 8th September 2018: According to a recent study by the World Health Organization (WHO), about 34% of Indians — 24.7% male and 43.9% females — are not active enough to stay healthy. Globally, more than 1.4 billion adults are at risk of diseases from not doing enough physical activity. The study also notes that there is no improvement in global levels of physical activity since 2001. If the current trends continue, the 2025 global activity target of a 10% relative reduction in insufficient physical activity will not be met.
Lack of exercise can increase the risk of health conditions such as cardiovascular diseases, Type 2 diabetes, dementia, and some cancers, over time. This coupled with unhealthy eating patterns and family history of diseases can exacerbate the situation even further.
Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr KK Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “The negative health effects of a sedentary lifestyle are well known. White collar workers or people who have desk jobs spend most of their working hours sitting in chairs. Interventions that encourage walking and physical activity in the workplace are needed to counter the negative health effects of sedentary behavior. Exercise has various benefits including preventing weight gain, controlling blood sugar levels, and other conditions. A minimum of 30 minutes of physical activity every day is very beneficial.”
The various health benefits of walking are well recognized. It has been shown in a study published earlier this year in the American Journal of Epidemiology that lack of exercise affects the human body right up to the cellular level. Elderly women who sit for more than 10 hours a day with low physical activity had cells that were biologically older by eight years compared to women who are more active.
Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor-in-Chief of IJCP, said, “Small and gradual changes can be made in the family so that no one is left out. This will also be encouraging for youngsters with adults setting examples for a healthy lifestyle. Such changes can also help people in losing weight and make better eating choices. This is truer for those with a genetic susceptibility to the condition. Operating as a team, a family, is much more likely to be successful.”
Some tips from HCFI
- A diet rich in whole grain, fruits, and vegetables is very good for the body. Fibrous food will ensure that you feel fuller for a longer period and prevent any cravings. Avoid processed and refined food as much as possible.
- Too much alcohol leads to weight gain and can increase your blood pressure and triglyceride levels. Men should limit drinks to two per day and women to one per day. Smokers are twice as likely to develop diabetes as non-smokers and therefore, it is a good idea to quit this habit.
- Understand your risk factors. Doing so can help you in taking preventive measures at the earliest and avoid complications.