LAHORE: There has been a 20 per cent decrease, over the last 16 years, in the number of people in the country who believe that exercise is “very important” for health, according to a recent survey by Gallup Pakistan.
A similar survey was earlier carried out in 2000. The respondents were asked how important they perceived exercise for their health. As many as 76 per cent of the respondents had said that it was “very important”, 16 per cent thought that it was “somewhat important” and six per cent said “very little” or “not important at all”. Two per cent did not respond.
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When the question was asked again in 2016, 56 per cent of the respondents said that exercise was “very important” for health, 21 per cent said that it was “somewhat important” and 22 per cent said “very little” or “not important at all”.
There has been a four per cent increase in the number of those who believe that such physical actives are somewhat important. There has also been a 16 per cent increase in the number of those who said “very little” or “not important at all”.
“Terrorism, unemployment, poverty and inflation have caused people to be so depressed that they care less about their health,” says Nauman Ahmed, a psychiatrist. He says nearly 80 per cent youngsters in Pakistan do not feel secure. He says that this results in several emotional disorders among them. “A large number of youth are jobless, the country is mired in crisis related to terrorism, and inflation is high… how can people manage to devote themselves to healthy activities in such times?”
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“Even if they have time, many of them prefer to visit dhabas for tea, or opt for smoking, including sheesha, for relaxation,” Ahmed says. He urged the government to educate people about the importance of healthy activities such as morning walk and exercise. “This will help make the society healthier,” he says.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 1st, 2016.
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