Walking to promote increased physical activity

Authored by: Ian Patterson , Shane Pegg , Wan Rabiah Wan Omar

The Routledge International Handbook of Walking

Print publication date:  August  2017
Online publication date:  July  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138195349
eBook ISBN: 9781315638461
Adobe ISBN:


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Physical inactivity has become an important issue for many developed countries and has grown rapidly among residents in the larger cities in both developed and less-developed countries throughout the world (WHO 2008). More than 30% of adults in 122 countries around the world were found to be physically inactive (Hallal et al. 2012). Physical inactivity increases the risk of obesity and studies by the World Health Organization have shown that there are more than 1 billion adults worldwide are classified as overweight, with at least 300 million being clinically obese (Guthold et al. 2008). Illnesses that are associated with physical inactivity have been said to be responsible for the deaths of at least 1.9 million people worldwide, with approximately 220,000 cases reported in North America, 320,000 in European countries, and over 13,000 reported cases in Australia (WHO 2008). In mainland China, for example, cardio-vascular disease has recently emerged as the leading cause of death attributed to poor diet and physical inactivity (Tanenbaum et al. 2016). It has been predicted that by 2020, the annual death rates of individuals classified as overweight and/or obese will increase to approximately 5 million people worldwide (WHO 2012).

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