The World Health Organization (WHO) has, this week, launched its new global action plan on physical activity and health.
The publication of the plan comes at a time when it is estimated that one in five adults and four out of five adolescents (11-17 years) worldwide do not undertake enough physical activity. In some countries, levels of inactivity can be as high as 70 per cent, due to changing patterns of transportation, increased use of technology and urbanisation.
The action plan shows how countries can reduce physical inactivity in adults and adolescents by 15 per cent by 2030 and recommends a set of 20 policy areas which, combined, aim to create more active societies.
These include implementing and strengthening systems of patient assessment and counselling on increasing physical activity and reducing sedentary behaviour in primary and secondary health care and social services.
They also include strengthening pre- and in-service training of professionals within the health sector to ensure effective integration of the health benefits of physical inactivity into formal training on prevention and management of noncommunicable diseases, mental health, healthy ageing, child health and development, and the wider promotion of community health and well-being.
The plan covers the period from 2018 to 2030.