Published Online: Wednesday, May 1, 2002

According to a recent statement issued by the World Health Organization (WHO), physical inactivity is one of the greatest risk factors for poor health in developed countries. Indeed, it is second only to tobacco. WHO urges people to get ?30 minutes of exercise a day, emphasizing that regular exercise is one way to prevent type 2 diabetes.

According to a recent National Center for Health Statistics report, however, 70% of adults do not regularly exercise, and almost 40% are physically inactive. The findings were based on the results of health surveys of 68,000 American adults in 1997 and 1998. Preliminary data for 2001 do not indicate any improvement.

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