500 million people prone to heart disease – WHO
Almost 500 million people might develop heart disease, obesity, diabetes, or other non-communicable diseases attributable to physical inactivity, between 2020 and 2030, the World Health Organisation has said.
The WHO said this would cost $27 billion annually if governments did not take urgent action to encourage more physical activity among their populations.
According to the WHO’s global status report on physical activity 2022, data from 194 countries show that overall progress is slow and that countries need to accelerate the development and implementation of policies to increase levels of physical activity and thereby prevent disease and reduce the burden on already overwhelmed health care systems.
“Less than 50 per cent of countries have a national physical activity policy, of which less than 40 per cent are operational.
“Only 30 per cent of countries have national physical activity guidelines for all age groups.
“While nearly all countries report a system for monitoring physical activity in adults, 75 per cent of countries monitor physical activity among adolescents, and less than 30 per cent monitor physical activity in children under-five years
“In policy areas that could encourage active and sustainable transport, only just over 40% of countries have road design standards that make walking and cycling safer,” the global health body said.