A new study form the National Food Institute at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) shows that a decrease in cycling and an increase of sitting in front of computer screens have led to significant reductions in Danes’ physical activity levels.
The study looked at the levels of physical activity among Danish adults in 2011-12 and found that Danes – particularly women - are less active than they were just four years earlier.
On average, women took 1,100 fewer steps per day than they did in 2007-2008 and the proportion of women who don’t take the recommended 7,500 steps per day jumped from 24 to 31 percent.
”In recent years Danish women have become more inactive and overweight. Women are therefore also important to focus on in public health promotion,” senior adviser Jeppe Matthiessen from the National Food Institute said in an article published on the DTU website
The study concluded that as more and more Danes favour cars to bicycles, the average totals for physical activity have gone down noticeably. Likewise, Danes have increased their daily screen time by an average of an hour each day .
Matthiessen said that small changes could a big difference in activity levels.
“Get on your bike or walk when you have the chance - and log off Facebook and go for a walk instead. It is not necessary to break a sweat to be physically active," he said.
The study used data from the Danish National Survey of Diet and Physical Activity, which concluded that every third Dane is classified as physically inactive.
The survey used pedometer data for the number of daily steps and self-reported cycling information that was then converted into steps and added to the total. Data was collected from 1,610 Danes between the ages of 18 and 75.