Kenyans amongst most unfit humans on earth, WHO sounds urgent alarm

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Kenyans are in physical crisis and should look up to Ugandans for a solution, the World Health organization has indicated in its recent report.

The number of Kenyans not active enough to stay healthy is three times more than Ugandans, the most active population in the world, WHO said in its global report on physical activity released on Wednesday.

The report showed that while 5.5 percent of Ugandans are not active enough, the smallest number in any country in the world, a shocking 15.4 per cent of adult Kenyans are not as active as recommended by WHO.

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Like many people in the world, they probably eat, watch television, have sex and go to bed.

WHO said physical activity reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, and breast and colon cancer.

The report said almost a quarter of the world population or 1.4 billion people are not doing the recommended 150 minutes of moderate, or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity per week.

Of the studied 168 countries, only seven – Uganda, Mozambique, Lesotho, Tanzania, Niue, Vanuatu and Togo – had less than 10 per cent of their populations not active enough.

More than 90 per cent of their populations met the recommended physical activity levels.

On the other hand, Kuwait had the highest number of people, 67 per cent, not active as recommended. The report showed that globally, four countries – Kuwait, American Samoa, Saudi Arabia and Iraq – had half of their population not active enough.

The report said countries with more active people are likely to be poorer than those with less active populations.

“Levels of insufficient physical activity are particularly high and still rising in high-income countries,” said the report.

The study, involving 1.9 million participants from 168 countries included 4,127 Kenyans from both rural and urban areas. 

The survey concluded that 6.5 per cent of Kenyans did not engage in the recommended amount of physical activity, but with additional data, the new global report showed 15.4 per cent of Kenyans are not active as recommended. The inactive Kenyans included 15.9 per cent of males and 16.9 per cent females who, like in 159 of the study countries, were more sedentary.

According to the report, to capture more of women activities, physical activity at workplace, recreation, transport as well as household work were recommended.

Research has shown that women tend to do less leisure-time activity and lower-intensity activity than men, which may explain the differences.

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