Irish among laziest in Europe

  • Gillian Tsoi

Adults in Ireland are among the laziest people in Europe, according to a new worldwide study.

Research has revealed that over half of the country's grown-up population report not meeting the recommended levels of physical activity per week.

Ireland is the seventh worst country for lack of exercise out of the 36 European countries involved in the study, which was published in The Lancet journal as part of a special series of sports studies to coincide with the Olympic Games.

Other inactive nations in Europe included Malta (71%), Serbia (68%) and the UK (63%). Countries with the most active populations were Greece, Estonia and the Netherlands.

Among Irish women, inactivity levels are 58.5% while men fare mildly better at 47.8%.

Furthermore, not exercising enough may be as dangerous to your health as smoking.

A study from Harvard Medical School in the US revealed that up to 5.3 million deaths worldwide were the result of physical inactivity in 2008.

By comparison, smoking cigarettes is estimated to cause about 5 million deaths each year around the globe.

The Harvard researchers also estimate that 6% of heart disease, 7% of type 2 diabetes, and about 10% of colon and breast cancers, can be linked to a lack of exercise.

"Physical inactivity has a large impact on the health of the world. In fact, its impact is comparable to that of cigarette smoking," says researcher I-Min Lee, an epidemiologist at the Harvard School of Public Health.

If everyone did about 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day, life expectancy throughout the world would increase by 0.68 years, according to the study authors.

Meanwhile, according to another study in The Lancet, globally, approximately one in three adults and four out of five teenagers (13-15 years-old) are not meeting the recommended amounts of exercise.

For adults, this is 150 minutes of moderate activity, like brisk walking, a week. For teens, it's an hour of moderate activity each day.

Women are less likely than men to be physically active, and that people tend to sit around more as they get older.

The study authors suggest that nowadays the world's population is too dependent on cars and other motorised vehicles for transport.



kickstar - 18/07/2012 22:52

Ah least we are considered good at something.........yawn.....thought they had written us off altogether.

devil's advocate - 29/07/2012 03:11

What? Physical inactivity kills more people than smoking! Jamie, are you sitting at your desk all day? Tut, tut! I'd be flying around the house and my bar all day reved up form nicotine of course! 

Jamie - 30/07/2012 17:19

DA, you're replying to me in a thread I never even wrote in. The smoke is seriously effecting your brain

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