Scientists have calculated how many deaths can be avoided through physical activity

A team of experts from the University of Cambridge has discovered the benefits of sport worldwide. It is estimated that approximately 3.9 million deaths per year can be avoided through a physically active lifestyle. They published their work in The Lancet Global Health.

The authors of the work scrutinized information on what physical activity is practiced by the population of 168 countries and whether it meets the standards of the World Health Organization (150 minutes of medium intensity exercise or 75 minutes of high-intensity exercise per week). They compared this data with information about the relative risk of early death among physically active and passive people. This enabled them to calculate the number of premature deaths that were averted.

As scientists found, sports activities reduced the number of early deaths by 15% overall. Specifically among women, by 14%, among men, by 16%.

The proportion of the population leading an active lifestyle varied considerably from country to country. In Kuwait, for example, only 33% of the population complied with WHO regulations, compared with 94% in Mozambique. However, scientists point out that this did not affect the number of deaths averted - it was high in all countries. But economic conditions had an impact: low- and middle-income countries had higher rates than developed countries (15% versus 14%).

In Russia, the number of physically preventable deaths was 197 200 per year (17.7%).

Calculations by scientists clearly demonstrate the benefits of maintaining an active lifestyle. The authors hope that this will help to convey the message that sport is of great benefit to people.

June 23, 2020, 12:01 p.m.

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