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Amid pandemic, WHO pushes more physical activity

The World Health Organization says people need to get more active, warning that up to 5 million deaths worldwide could be avoided each year if people were. That’s despite the coronavirus pandemic.

The UN health agency, launching updated guidelines on sedentary behavior Thursday, is pointing to figures that one in four adults don’t get enough physical activity — a situation complicated by the COVID-19 crisis that has shut many people indoors.

The agency recommends at least 2 1/2 hours of “moderate to vigorous aerobic activity” for adults per week, and an hour per day for kids and teens.

A lack of physical activity leads to extra health care costs of $54 billion per year, plus another $14 billion in lost productivity, the Geneva-based WHO says.

AP

A man wearing a face mask jogs along a track in Wuhan in central China’s Hubei Province, January 31, 2020. (AP Photo/Arek Rataj)
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