One in three Singaporeans does not get enough physical activity, according to a World Health Organisation (WHO) study on global health that was released yesterday.
The study also found that more men than women in Singapore meet the recommended weekly targets for physical activity, although both genders still lag behind the global average.
Adults are generally encouraged to do 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity a week.
About 34 per cent of men in Singapore do not hit this target, compared with around 39 per cent of women.
Worldwide, around 25 per cent of men and 33 per cent of women fall into this category.
The WHO said that there has been little progress worldwide in improving physical activity levels between 2001 and 2016.
Adjunct Associate Professor Benedict Tan, who is chairman of Exercise Is Medicine Singapore - a movement to make exercise part of healthcare - said that there are various barriers that stop sedentary adults from becoming physically active.
These include lack of time, pre-existing medical conditions, and even the conveniences of modern living such as personal mobility devices.
"The solutions need to be multipronged," Dr Tan said.
"For example, (they can include) allocating more time for physical education in schools, offering a wider slate of exercise options to appeal to a broader base and enhancing the sports and exercise experience."