Thais tending to avoid exercise during pandemic are vulnerable to NCDs

More Thai people are tending to be less physically active during the COVID-19 pandemic, with many spending up to 14 hours a day doing nothing, not even walking, according to Dr. Suwanchai Wattanayingcharoenchai, director-general of the Health Department.

Citing information from the 10th National Health Assembly, he said that physical inactivity or insufficient physical activity (sedentary behaviour) can increase the risk of non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

For instance, he said that physical inactivity can increase the risk of diabetes by 27%, compared to those who exercise regularly, increases the risk of intestinal cancer by 25%, the risk of breast cancer by 21% and a 6% increased risk of stroke.

He noted that Thai youth, working class people and the elderly tend to remain idle and sit in the same position for long periods of time, or spend long hours toying with their smart phones without taking a break to stand up and move around.

These breaks help ease the physical inactivity, said Dr. Suwanchai.

He said that those aged 5-17 should spend an average of 150 minutes a week exercising and those who work from home should take a break every hour by changing from their seated position, standing up and extending their muscles.



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