Happy New Year everyone! We are back for good and this is officially our first post of 2014!
Shortly before we left, we had talked about new year’s resolutions . I cannot prove it, but I am quite sure that exercising more is one of the top resolutions of this year too (by the way here are 5 tips on how to keep this resolution; although this funny article claims we should abandon it). And as you might have noticed from one or two previous posts), physical activity is one of our interests! And yes, you guessed right, this is another post on this subject.
We tend to think that physical activity is a first world problem and that people in developed countries have other things to worry about. This is true, however, physical inactivity is a problem they should also worry about. Don’t take my word for it, take the word of WHO: physical inactivity is an independent risk factor for noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). 80% of deaths from common NCDs occur in low and middle-income countries. Levels of inactivity are high in developing countries too. Add to that the fact that obesity rates grow faster in poor countries (as recently reported by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI)). Now put all these together and you’ll see why physical inactivity is a problem everywhere.
We very recently published a study that confirms the above. Jalil Koohpayehzadeh and colleagues studies the changes of physical activity patterns in Iran from 2007 to 2011. They found that the levels of physical activity decreased, especially amongst women and people living in urban areas. They also report increased prevalence of obesity and diabetes. The authors conclude that interventions that promote physical activity should be promoted.
Any my question is: what kind of interventions do you think would work better in developing countries? Probably not fancy gadgets tracking steps, calories and more. This review of interventions for physical activity in developing countries by the WHO can provide a good starting point to get us thinking.
*image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kobrasoft/