Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Do the Portuguese exercise enough?

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According to CNN Portugal, a report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (WHO), concludes that in 2016, 35.4% of adults from the 27 countries of the European Union were not considered according to WHO criteria, did not achieve 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week.

Among the 27 EU Member States, the country that ranked the highest was Finland, with only 20% of adults achieving below WHO’s recommendation, in Portugal it was much higher, with more than 45% of adults below the recommended criteria.

The report also cites data from the latest Eurobarometer, according to which only four out of 10 adults (38%) in the EU exercised or did sport at least once a week in 2022, and only 6% exercised five times a week.

In addition, almost half (45%) of adults admit to never exercising or doing sport, although physical activity is one of the most important things that can be done to improve physical and mental health and well-being, highlights the author’s of the report.

The level of physical activity is also common among adolescents, particularly among girls, as less than one in five boys and less than one in 10 girls say they respect the WHO recommendation of less than one hour of moderate to vigorous physical activity per day.

Portugal, along with Italy and France, was among the EU member states worse off with levels of physical activity among adolescents, unlike countries such as Slovakia, Slovenia, the Netherlands or Bulgaria.

European participation in physical or sports activity has improved little between 2017 and 2022 – the EU average of 44% to 53% – even as the two countries saw the level of physical activity decrease, notably Portugal.

According to the report, the covid-19 pandemic has worsened the situation for the majority, although some adults have taken advantage of the situation to do more exercise: More than half of Europeans have reduced their physical activity and only 7% more exercise as the pandemic ends.

The authors estimate in the report that if all people respected it as WHO guidelines for physical activity, they would be more likely to prevent 10,000 premature deaths of people between 30 and 70 per year and life expectancy increasing by 7.5 months for them to be insufficiently active.

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