21 Jul 2012

Study debunks sporty NZ image

6:12 am on 21 July 2012

New Zealand may have an image as a sporting nation - but it turns out we are a country of couch potatoes.

A study in the medical journal Lancet shows nearly half of all New Zealand adults are not doing enough physical exercise and ranks the country as the 27th most inactive out of a list of 122.

Malta was the most inactive country and Bangladesh the least.

Otago University professor in nutrition Jim Mann says the findings are not surprising given one in four New Zealanders is obese.

He says the study affirms serious action needs to be taken to tackle obesity and suggests the Government could help by making it easier for people to get active.

These could include making it safer to cycle by measures such as more cycle lanes.

Former Commonwealth Games medallist Dick Quax says with subsidised pools and gyms, and a decent climate, there is nothing to stop people exercising.