Physical inactivity is the fourth leading risk factor for global deaths. Worldwide, people are less physically active. As physical activity decreases, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) increase causing an estimated 3.2 million deaths (6% of deaths) globally according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Levels of physical inactivity are rising in many countries with major implications for the general health of people and for the occurrence of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer and their risk factors such as raised blood pressure, raised blood sugar and overweight. According to WHO, physical inactivity is estimated as being the principal cause for approximately 21–25% of breast and colon cancer burden, 27% of diabetes and approximately 30% of ischemic heart disease burden .
The five major non-communicable diseases are heart disease, stroke, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes. There is strong scientific evidence that healthy diets and adequate physical activity (≥30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity, 5 days per week) play an important role in the prevention of these diseases. People who are insufficiently active have a 20% to 30% increased risk of death compared to people who are sufficiently active (WHO).