Even as walking is considered as the most preferred form of exercise across all age groups, 38 per cent working population in the country spends time sitting citing long working hours as major deterrent, according to a study.
Majority of the respondents (78 per cent) agree that walking helps them guard against lifestyle diseases, according to the Max Bupa Walk for Health Survey 2016.
Amongst the working population, 38 per cent spend time sitting and only 20 per cent devote time to walking and the rest either sleeping or standing, it said.
The study on walking behaviour was conducted among 1,300 citizens across 4 cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Pune and Jaipur from December 2015 to January 2016.
Long working hours have emerged as the biggest barrier to walking amongst professionals, according to the study.
While long office hours stop Delhi (27 per cent) and Mumbai (25 per cent) employees from walking, in Pune (21 per cent) and Jaipur (13 per cent) do not walk due to long daily commute.
Long working hours have also emerged as an impediment towards walking for 26 per cent working women.
About 15 per cent of housewives prefer dieting over walking and 12 per cent of them don't walk because they feel unsafe and insecure, it said.
The study also revealed pollution as a key deterrent to walking with 16 per cent Indians not walking regularly due to rising pollution levels.
Among the four cities, Pune (42 per cent) tops the chart followed by Mumbai (39 per cent), Delhi and Jaipur (both 27 per cent).
Women (20 per cent) are more affected by pollution than men (13 per cent) when it comes to walking, the study found.
Across age groups, Indians in the age bracket of 46-54 years cite pollution as the biggest reason for not walkingenough, it added.
"The study has revealed an alarming reality, that most of the working population in India spends 40 per cent of its time in a day sitting," Max Bupa Managing Director and CEO Ashish Mehrotra said.
The survey shows that among those who do not walk regularly, 18 per cent suffer from blood pressure, back problems (15 per cent), weak eyesight (14 per cent) and overall weakness (12 per cent), he said.
Obesity emerged as the prime disease affecting housewives who don't walk (14 per cent) while working women who don't walk suffer from weak eye sight (21 per cent), he said.
Surprisingly, he said, non-walkers rate their health as very good (40 per cent) in spite of a host of health issues.