She added that the inactivity levels across developed and developing countries had reached a sort of stasis, "Although high-income countries have a higher prevalence of insufficient physical activity, it is important to note that low and middle-income countries still bear the larger share of the global disease burden of physical inactivity".
The new study looked at 358 surveys that collected data on almost 2 million people who reported their activity levels both at work and at home.
The WHO recommends adults do at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity-exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise per week.
The study recorded activity levels of 1.9 million people in 168 countries across the world between 2001 and 2016.
The new report found that around the world, 32 percent of women and 23 percent of men don't get enough exercise, even when accounting for time spent walking or biking to work and physical activity on the job.
The findings appear in The Lancet Global Health journal.
In the United Kingdom, 40% of women and 32% of men were insufficiently active in 2016.
"We need action to reverse decades of decline in the nations level of physical activity".
Countries with higher incomes tended to show higher rates of inactivity.
The transition toward more sedentary occupations and motorized transportation in richer countries could help explain the higher levels of inactivity, researchers said.
The WHO says insufficient physical activity is one of the leading risk factors for premature death worldwide. This is largely influenced by China, the authors stated, with leisure-time activity rising in the most populated country in the region, possibly through increased physical activity and use of public parks among its growing elderly population. People who do not meet this guideline are at greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, dementia and some cancers, research shows.
Adults aren't exercising as much as they should. This can be, however, as high as one in three adults inactive in some counties. Publication of levels of participation in children and young people are forthcoming. The advancement in technology has made people's life more convenient but also less active, said Ding.