Health Institute: Dutch youth sit themselves into illness

(Photo: Ranveig/Dodo / Wikimedia Commons). ((Photo: Ranveig/Dodo / Wikimedia Commons))

People in the Netherlands spend shockingly long periods in inactivity every day. Young people in between 12 and 20 years in particular do not move enough, with a massive 10.4 hours per day spent sitting still, according to new research by health institute RIVM, ANP reports.

Young Dutch's inactivity can partly be attributed to school attendance, homework and computer or tablet use. If you add an average of 8 hours' sleep, Dutch youth spend three quarters of their day inactive.

According to the RIVM, there are indications that long periods of inactivity can lead to numerous health problems, including obesity, type 2 diabetes and early mortality. This risk is even present in people who get enough exercise.

"An unhealthy culture of obesity is emerging. Children get too little incentive to go outside", sports physician Wout van der Meulen at UMC Utrecht commented to the Telegraaf. "The numbers do not surprise me, but they are shockingly high. Also for the rest of the population."

The average Dutch person spends 8.7 hours a day in inactivity. Among children between the ages of 4 to 12 years, 7.3 hours a day are spent inactive. People tend to move more over the weekend than during the week. But this is not so for the elderly, people between 65 and 80 years, who are inactive 7.5 hours a day, regardless what day of the week it is.