Sedentary lifestyle leading to hypertension and high blood sugar and cholesterol levels among Nepalis: SurveyFemales are doing even less physical activity than their male counterparts.
Blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels are going up among Nepalis due to increasing sedentary lifestyle, a new survey shows.
According to the STEPS survey on non-communicable disease risk factors, 7.4 percent of the respondents do not do sufficient physical activity—22 minutes a day (150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week or equivalent). The number has grown more than double compared to the result of 2013's STEPS survey result that showed 3.5 percent of the survey respondents did not do sufficient physical activity.
Females are doing even less physical activity—6.6 percent—compared to their male counterparts at 8.2 percent.
The survey was jointly carried out by the World Health Organization, Ministry of Health and Population, and Nepal Health Research Council between February and May.
The population-based household survey of adults aged 15-69 was carried out among 6,450 people, and 5,993 people participated.
According to the survey results, 24.5 percent of the respondents (almost one in every four) were suffering from high blood pressure. The number of males suffering from high blood pressure was more at 29.8 percent compared to 19.7 percent females.
The 2013 study had shown high blood pressure among 23.4 percent population (28.7 percent men and 18.5 percent women).
Similarly, about nine percent of the respondents had high blood sugar (6.3 percent males and 5.3 percent females).
The 2013 survey had found that 3.6 percent (4.6 percent men and 2.7 percent women) of the respondents were suffering from high blood sugar.
Eleven percent of the respondents (7.8 percent males and 14 percent of women) have high cholesterol, according to the survey.
The survey results also found high salt and processed food consumption among the respondents.
Nine percent of the population always—or often—added salt before eating and salt intake by general people is more than double the World Health Organization's recommendation (five gram a day), according to the survey.
Salt intake study was carried out by examining the spot urine examination.
The survey found that 19.5 percent (21. 1 percent males and 18.1 percent females) of the respondents used processed foods, which contain high salt levels.
The survey also studied the dietary habits of the general public.
There has been a slight improvement on the daily consumption of fruit and vegetables—two servings on average—compared to 2013 study— 1.8 servings.
But in comparison with the minimum recommended intake of fruits and vegetables, 97 percent of respondents still do not consume adequate amounts of fruits and vegetables, according to the survey.
The survey also studied the alcohol and tobacco consumption habits of the respondents.
The survey found that 23.9 percent of the respondents (38.6 percent males and 10.4 percent females) had consumed alcohol in the past 12 months and nearly 21 percent (34.4 percent males and 8.8 percent females) in the past 30 days.
Among the alcohol users, about seven percent were heavy drinkers, and nine percent of current drinkers had alcohol dependence problems.
The prevalence of tobacco use among the respondents was 29 percent (48 percent men and 11.6 percent women).
Among them, 24 percent were found using tobacco daily, and 17 percent smoked.
The survey found 22.5 percent of adults (3.5 million) were exposed to secondhand smoke at their workplace, and 33.5 percent of adults (5.5 million) were exposed to secondhand smoke at home.
The survey was also carried out separately in all seven provinces.
In Province 5, the survey found that 36.6 percent of the respondents used tobacco products, 33.8 percent in Sudurpaschim Province, 29.7 percent in Karnali Pradesh, 29.4 percent in Province 2, 25.9 percent in Gandaki Province and 22.2 percent in Province 3.