One third of Portuguese adults are physically inactive and do not fulfill any recommendation for physical exercise, thus running the risk of dying from diseases such as diabetes, depression or cardiovascular problems.
These figures were given to Lusa News Agency by the coordinator of the National Program to Promote Physical Activity, Pedro Teixeira, according to whom the figures for doing sport in Portugal, “are not very encouraging.”
“Nowadays we have data from several European and national surveys, which give us an idea of the amount of exercise and how many people are physically active in Portugal,” he said, adding that “just 20% of the adult population complies with the international recommendations on exercise.”
According to Teixeira, this “is a very low figure.”
“Two thirds of the population may be active, but not significantly active. There is, then, another third of people (between 25% and 30%), who we know are actually inactive and don’t comply with any recommendation. A physically inactive person is somebody who does no sport or regular exercise and has a sedentary lifestyle,” he said.
According to Teixeira, recommendations for physical exercise for the adult population involve around 150 minutes (around two and half hours) of moderate or vigorous exercise per week.
Studies show that above this level people get additional protection against metabolic and cardiovascular risk factors.