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900 million more citizens insufficiently physically active since 2000

By Mogens Kirkeby, ISCA President

From 2000 to 2022 a staggering number of 900 million citizens became insufficiently physically active. That is a global percentage increase from 23.4% in 2000 to 31.3% in 2022. This global trend, revealed in a new study published in The Lancet Global Health journal, is heading in the wrong direction and implies that the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) global target of a 15% relative reduction by 2030 will not be reached.

Such bad news calls for civil society and the private and public sectors to join forces and for more investment to be made in health and physical activity promotion. This is not impossible and the return on investment is likely to result in people living happier and healthier lives. So what’s to lose?

A few countries appear to be on track, and the positive trends seen in these countries could be an indication of effective physical activity promotion policies. And these policies tend to be multi-sectoral, as advocated in the WHO’s Global Action Plan on Physical Activity.

A call to action from the WHO
Effective policies may exist, but recent reports show that global implementation has been slow and uneven. The successful experiences in countries on track towards meeting global targets should be shared widely. All counties are urged to align their investments and adopt multi-sector approaches to promoting physical activity at both national and local levels to people of all backgrounds and age groups.

We couldn’t agree more. Let’s get moving!

Read more at The Lancet Global Health, WHO news and GHO data.

Visit WHO physical activity for its new updated Fact Sheet and links to more global resources and tools.

Comment by ISCA President Mogens Kirkeby; Infographic: WHO

Posted on 27/06/2024 by Mogens Kirkeby, ISCA President


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