10 - MALAYSIA
The scientific journal The Lancet carried out a global study to establish the most inactive nations. They defined inactivity as failing to reach 30 minutes of moderate activity five times a week or failing to take more vigorous exercise for 20 minutes three times a week or an equivalent combination of exercise.
So in at number 10 is Malaysia where 61.4% of the nation were found to be inactive.
Incidentally, this photo is from the 1959 Malaysian independence festival where 3000 school kids took part in an exercise routine.
9 - UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
62.5% of the UAE's population are considered inactive. Well who wants to do exercise in 40 degree heat?
8 - GREAT BRITAIN
How very disappointing to see the Brits in the top 10. A staggering 63.3% of the population (with higher rates in women than in men) are deemed physically inactive. That also puts GB as the third most slothful nation in Europe. Their USA friends however are ranked in 46th place with 40% of their population being inactive - quite surprising considering they are second in the body mass index chart.
The Brits could blame their weather for not being conducive to physical exercise or maybe people spend too long working at their office desks. Or perhaps we just have jolly good pubs!
7 - KUWAIT
64.5% of Kuwait's population are considered inactive. Kuwait also has one of the highest rates of obesity in the world. Food isn't just eaten for nutritional purposes in Kuwait, it is in fact a major part of their culture and is part of every social occasion and celebration. The heat also contributes to the sedentary lifestyle.
6 - MICRONESIA
66.3% are inactive. And why would anyone want to move from the beach? Although these Melanesians had their physical activity cut out for them when Prince Philip arrived in 1959. (Yes that is the Duke on top).
5 - ARGENTINA
Argentinians have come in 5th place with 68.3% of the population not meeting the daily recommended amount of exercise.
The main case in favour of physical activity is that it helps people lead healthy lives. Inactivity causes between 6% and 10% of four chief diseases – breast and colon cancer, type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease. And in 2008, inactivity was responsible for about 5.3 million out of the 57 million deaths worldwide.
4 - SERBIA
68.3% of Serbians do not meet the recommended amounts of activity per week. That makes them the second most slothful nation in Europe.
The best-performing European country was Greece, where it was found they had a physical inactivity rate of 15.6%
3 - SAUDI ARABIA
Physical inactivity in Saudi Arabia is extremely prevalent with 68.8% of the population being inactive. Lifestyle and heat all have a part to play. But also, Saudi women have very little access to sports facilities and it wasn't until 2013 that women were first allowed to ride bicycles in public but as long as they are accompanied by a male relative and the activity takes place in a restricted, recreational area. However, The Lancet poll found that in most countries, women were found to be more physically inactive than men.
2 - SWAZILAND
69% of Swazi people are inactive. But in actual fact, only 31.1% or less than a third of the world’s population falls in to the Lancet's definition of physical activity. It's a slothful world.
1 - MALTA
And apologies to the Maltese but they topped the poll with 71.9% of the population being physically inactive.
At the other end of the scale, Bangladesh was found to be the most physically active country, with an inactivity rate of just 4.7%.