Physical activity has many proven health benefits, ranging from reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer to improving mental health and mood.
People who are physically active tend to be healthier and live longer.
But while physical activity burns calories, it also increases appetite, and people may compensate by eating more or by being less active the rest of the day.
The researchers followed adults aged 25 to 40 living in five countries – the US, Ghana, South Africa, Jamaica and Seychelles. Participants wore tracking devices called accelerometers on their waists for a week. The devices measured the wearers’ energy expenditure and step count.