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Physical Inactivity among Adults Found To Be Increasing Across Europe

Dec, 2021 - By WMR

Physical Inactivity among Adults Found To Be Increasing Across Europe

Recent research found that the number of adults in European countries spending around five hours sitting each day increased by 8 percent from 2002 to 2017.

In the study which was published in the BMC Public Health journal, researchers from the King Juan Carlos University in Spain evaluated data of 96,000 European adults which was collected through surveys on sedentary behavior. In 2002, the percentage of adults displaying sedentary behavior for over 4 hours was 49.3% which increased to 54.3% in 2017. The proportion of adults displaying sedentary behavior between 2002 and 2017 increased by 22.5% in the U.K, 17.8% in France, 7.4% in Germany, and 3.9% in Spain. The team analyzed data collected in the years 2002, 2005, 2013, and 2017 from 4 independent Sport and Physical Activity EU Special Eurobarometer surveys. Participants had answered a questionnaire on how many hours they spent every day being physically active on average. The average age group of participants was 50. Similar number of adults (younger and older) were sedentary, however, older adults were more sedentary on average compared to younger adults.

Between 2002 and 2017, 55.6% of participants who were in the age group of 65 years and above, and 58.3% were in the age group of 18-24 were physically inactive. The major increase in sedentary behavior by 2017 was observed in the age group of 35 to 44. In terms of gender, 52% of men spent over 4 hours sitting every day compared to 49.5% of women. Moreover, the percentage increased by 25.2% among men during the study period and 16.5% for women in the U.K. The prevalence rate increased by 15.6% for men in Germany and decreased by 1.2% for women. The team noted that the increase in the prevalence rate was attributed to participants’ interaction with technology devices such as smartphones while working or leisure time. The team suggests that governments should encourage physical activity and also focus on reducing the sedentary time or sitting down time during the day.

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