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Less exercise, more non-communicable diseases, in Urban slums

HYDERABAD: Just days after a survey revealed average hypertension levels in Hyderabad to be at 48%, nearly double than the national average, a new study has found how physical activities are very low in urban slums of the city. This is being seen as the possible reason for rise in Non Communicable Diseases (NCD).

The study conducted by the Department of Community Medicine, Apollo Institute of Medical Sciences and Research in the Shaikpet slum area had 273 respondents aged above 40 years.

It was found that only 55% took part in any kind of vigorous activity. Amongst them, 98% of the study population did not engage in any vigorous physical activity for more than 75 minutes in a week.

This is crucial because the Global Physical Activity Questionnaire developed by WHO for surveying the levels of physical activity says healthy adults need to perform 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity each week or 75 minutes of vigorous activity to maintain their health.

In terms of moderate level of physical activity as well, only 59% did the same for more than the stipulated time. The levels were especially low amongst women and a large portion of the general population already was found having a chronic non-communicable disease.

“All Non-Communicable Disease risk factors are markedly high among the urban slum adults. Almost three quarters of all NCD deaths and the majority of premature deaths occurred in low and middle income communities making these findings crucial,” says the study.