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WHO Warns of Alarming Levels of Physical Inactivity Among Indians: Women More Physically Inactive Than Men

WHO warns alarming levels of physical inactivity among Indians says women more physically inactive than men (1)

The World Health Organization (WHO) has raised a red flag about the increasing levels of physical inactivity among Indians, with a particular emphasis on the concerning disparity between men and women. According to recent findings, a significant portion of the Indian population is not engaging in sufficient physical activity, leading to a host of health issues. The report highlights that women in India are more physically inactive than men, a trend that could have serious implications for public health.

The WHO Report: A Wake-Up Call

The WHO’s comprehensive report on global physical activity levels provides a sobering look at the state of physical fitness in India. The data indicates that a large percentage of Indians do not meet the recommended levels of physical activity, which include at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity per week.

Key Findings

  • High Levels of Inactivity: The report reveals that over 35% of Indian adults are physically inactive. This inactivity is linked to a range of health issues, including cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, obesity, and mental health disorders.
  • Gender Disparity: Women in India are significantly more inactive than men, with 40% of women not meeting the recommended activity levels compared to 30% of men. This disparity is attributed to a combination of cultural, social, and economic factors that limit women’s opportunities for physical activity.

Understanding the Causes

Cultural and Social Barriers

In many parts of India, cultural norms and societal expectations place constraints on women’s mobility and participation in physical activities. Traditional gender roles often prioritize household duties and caregiving responsibilities over personal health and fitness for women. This societal pressure can limit the time and opportunities women have to engage in regular physical exercise.

Economic Constraints

Economic barriers also play a significant role. Many women, especially in rural areas, lack access to safe and affordable spaces for exercise. Financial constraints can make it difficult for families to invest in fitness-related activities or facilities. Additionally, the burden of work, both domestic and professional, leaves little time for physical activity.

Lack of Awareness

A general lack of awareness about the importance of physical activity contributes to the problem. While there is growing recognition of the benefits of exercise, many people still underestimate its role in maintaining overall health and preventing chronic diseases. This lack of awareness is more pronounced among women, who may not prioritize their own health due to other pressing responsibilities.

Health Implications

The consequences of physical inactivity are far-reaching. Sedentary lifestyles increase the risk of chronic illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, hypertension, and type 2 diabetes. Additionally, physical inactivity is linked to mental health issues like depression and anxiety. For women, the health implications are particularly severe, given their lower baseline levels of physical activity and higher rates of inactivity.

Addressing the Issue

Public Health Campaigns

There is an urgent need for targeted public health campaigns that promote the benefits of physical activity and address the specific barriers faced by women. These campaigns should focus on raising awareness about the importance of regular exercise and provide practical advice on how to incorporate physical activity into daily routines.

Creating Safe and Accessible Spaces

Governments and local authorities must invest in creating safe and accessible spaces for physical activity. This includes building parks, walking tracks, and community centers that encourage exercise. Special attention should be given to ensuring that these facilities are accessible to women and children.

Encouraging Workplace Wellness Programs

Workplace wellness programs can play a crucial role in promoting physical activity among adults. Employers should be encouraged to implement initiatives that encourage employees to stay active, such as providing gym facilities, organizing fitness challenges, and promoting active breaks during the workday.

Supporting Women’s Fitness

To address the gender disparity in physical activity, specific programs aimed at encouraging women to engage in exercise are needed. These could include women-only fitness classes, community groups that focus on women’s health, and initiatives that provide childcare support to allow mothers time to exercise.

Education and Awareness

Educational institutions can play a pivotal role in instilling the importance of physical activity from a young age. Schools should incorporate regular physical education classes and encourage sports participation among both boys and girls. Additionally, community-based education programs can help spread awareness about the benefits of an active lifestyle.

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IBC Global Times
Author: IBC Global Times

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