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Some 53.2 percent of Irish people don't do enough exercise, compared to 40.5 percent in America Photo by: Google Images

Irish prove to be bigger couch potatoes than American counterparts

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Some 53.2 percent of Irish people don't do enough exercise, compared to 40.5 percent in America Photo by: Google Images

A new study published in the medical journal ‘Lancet’ shows that nearly half of Irish citizens polled are not receiving adequate amounts of weekly exercise. Ireland currently sits lazily in 7th place as most inactive population among the 36 countries polled.

Some 53.2 percent of Irish people don't do enough exercise, compared to 40.5 percent in America

The Irish Independent reports on the new study that is published just days before the world will turn its eyes to London to watch the height of athleticism at the Olympics - presumably from the comfort of their couches. The ‘Lancet’ journal warns that a sedentary lifestyle is a “global pandemic,” causing about 1 in 10 deaths making it comparable with smoking.

The report states “Worldwide, around a third of adults (about 1.5 billion people) and four out of five adolescents are failing to do the recommended amounts of physical activity. It places them at 20--30pc greater risk of heart disease, diabetes, and some types of cancer."

While it is recommended that the average adult should in the very least partake in a modest 15-30 brisk walk everyday, most do not.

European countries that topped to list as most inactive were Malta with 71 percent, Serbia with 68 percent and the UK with 63 percent. Greece, Estonia and the Netherlands were found to be the most active.

While Ireland has nothing to brag about in terms of its seventh place spot on the list, it does inch out past the UK. 58.5 percent of Irish women and 47.8 percent of Irish men were found to not be achieving adequate amounts of exercise. In the UK, however, 68.6 percent of women are inactive compared to 58 percent of men.

While conducting research for the study, 100 different measures were analyzed in order to determine statistics. “Successful examples included promoting exercise and community events through mass media campaigns. Social support networks such as buddy systems and walking clubs were also important, as were free exercise classes in public places,” says the report.

Interestingly, “New evidence also suggests that some people might be genetically predisposed to being physically active while evolutionary factors and obesity might also add to the propensity to be inactive."

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