A report from the British Heart Foundation (BHF) reveals that 20 million adults in the UK are physically inactive and this raises the risk of heart disease as well as type 2 diabetes.
The report classed people as inactive if they took part in less than two and a half hours of physical activity per week.
Out of those referred for rehabilitation after having a heart attack, more than three quarters were inactive.
Women appear to have more difficulty in carrying out physical activity. The figures showed that women were 36% more likely than men to be classed as inactive.
Across the UK, North West England and Northern Ireland had the highest rates of inactivity. Over 45 per cent of adults were inactive in these regions. The South East and South West of England had better activity rates although these areas still reported inactivity in around 35 per cent of adults.
People in Scotland are more active than people in England, whereas people in Wales are less active than the English.
Inactivity is a risk factor for heart disease and prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. Higher blood sugar levels over many years increases the risk of heart disease and taking part in more physical activity can reduce blood sugar and reduce the risks of diabetes and heart disease.
There are many ways to get activity into your day. Dedicate some of your commute to work with walking, use the stairs where possible and break up periods of sitting with some activity such as walking or stretching. Dedicate some time each week to take part in group activity with friends or at a gym.
Associate medical director at the BHF, Dr Mike Knapto, stated: “Levels of physical inactivity and sedentary behaviour in the UK remain stubbornly high, and, combined, these two risk factors present a substantial threat to our cardiovascular health and risk of early death.
“Evidence shows keeping physically active can reduce the risk of heart and circulatory disease by as much as 35% and risk of early death by as much as 30%.

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