Regular physical activity is proven to help prevent and manage noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and several cancers. It also helps prevent hypertension, maintain healthy body weight and can improve mental health, quality of life and well-being.
Physical activity refers to all movement. Popular ways to be active include walking, cycling, wheeling, sports, active recreation and play, and can be done at any level of skill and for enjoyment by everybody.
Yet, current global estimates show one in four adults and 81% of adolescents do not do enough physical activity. Furthermore, as countries develop economically, levels of inactivity increase and can be as high as 70%, due to changing transport patterns, increased use of technology for work and recreation, cultural values and increasing sedentary behaviours.
Increased levels of physical inactivity have negative impacts on health systems, the environment, economic development, community well-being and quality of life.
The WHO Global action plan on physical activity 2018–2030: more active people for a healthier world, provides a framework of effective and feasible policy actions which can help support, retain and increase physical activity through cross-government and multisectoral partnerships across all settings, as a coordinated and comprehensive response.
World Health Organisation (WHO) has released guidelines on physical activity and sedentary behaviour. Click here to view more.