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Indian bodies need more exercise

Indians need to work harder at staying healthy than Westerners.

delhi Updated: Sep 26, 2010 01:11 IST
HT Correspondent

Indians need to work harder at staying healthy than Westerners.

New physical activity guidelines for Indians say we need almost twice the amount of exercise Westerners need to keep fit because we are genetically at higher risk of developing diabetes, hypertension, cardiac disease and metabolic complications.

While the American Diabetic Association prescribes 45 minutes of physical exercise 3-4 times a week, Indians should put in one hour a day, seven days a week.

This was part of the Consensus Physical Activity Guidelines for Asian Indians released on Saturday, and reached following discussions among 130 scientists from India, Britain, the US and Australia.

“A majority of Indians lead a sedentary lifestyle, thanks to the rapid economic and demographic transformation of India. Exercise should become top of the agenda for every Indian,” said Dr Anoop Misra, director of the National Diabetes, Obesity and Cholesterol Foundation, which brought out the guidelines along with the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India.

“While there are several reference points for physical activity in the developed world, so far we had nothing in India. The guidelines will show the correct way of doing exercise and in right intensity and amount,” said Dr Misra.