(CNN)Not exercising enough could increase your risk of developing certain diseases by up to 8%, according to a new study.
Little to no exercise increases your risk of getting noncommunicable diseases such as depression and dementia, according to the study's analysis of data from 168 countries. The study published Monday in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
Physical inactivity is defined as not "doing at least 150min of moderate-intensity, or 75min of vigorous-intensity physical activity per week or any equivalent combination of the two," according to the report.
If you don't get enough exercise, your chance of getting hypertension could increase by 1.6% and dementia could increase by 8.1%, the researchers found.
The study also took note of the income levels of each county (rated as low, middle or high) and found that as the income increases, so does physical inactivity.
This could be attributed to the increase in amenities people have access to, said study author Peter Katzmarzyk, professor and associate executive director for population and public health sciences at Pennington Biomedical Research Center at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.
"Access to vehicles goes up, active transportation goes down, and access and use of devices go way up," Katzmarzyk said.
People are more likely to use vehicles for transportation instead of walking or riding bicycles, said Fiona Bull, head of the physical activity unit at the World Health Organization, who was not involved in the study.
Governments need to invest in infrastructure, she said, such as walking and cycling areas as well as public open spaces so people can enjoy being outside.
Ways to increase your activity level
Staying active is important to keep your body running at optimal capacity, said CNN fitness contributor Dana Santas. She compared long periods of physical inactivity to a car sitting idle for months and then is unable to start.