Although WHO guidelines recommend adults should do at least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity per week, and 60 minutes per day for Children and adolescents, statistics reveal that one in four adults, and four out of five adolescents, do not currently get enough physical activity.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is calling for
better and fairer opportunities for physical activity to improve overall
health among all age groups, across the globe.
Although WHO guidelines recommend adults
should do at least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity
per week, and 60 minutes per day for Children and adolescents, statistics reveal that one in
four adults, and four out of five adolescents, do not currently get enough
physical activity. Women are less active than men, with more than an eight per
cent difference at the global level.
The health agency notes that up to five million premature
deaths a year could be prevented if the global population was more active, but
many people live in areas with little or no access to spaces where they can
safely walk, run, cycle or engage in other physical activities. Where opportunities do exist,
older adults or people with disabilities may simply not have access to them. To
improve this situation,
In a new advocacy brief, Fair
Play: Building a strong physical activity system for more active people, the
agency asks decision-makers across the health, sport, education and transport
sectors, to promote the benefits more. The Fair Play brief was released
during WHO’s final webinar in a series convened to discuss the impact of
COVID-19 on sport and physical activity.
The brief highlights the main
challenges and opportunities and calls for all partners to strengthen
collaborations and support countries to scale up actions in this area.
Solutions that work include
sustained community campaigns, inclusive programmes in local communities, and
safer environments that support more walking and cycling, for everyone. The
Head of the Physical Activity Unit at WHO, Fiona Bull, said that the brief
“provides clear messages to all who work, to create a more active
For WHO Deputy Director-General,
Zsuzsanna Jakab, there is an urgent need to provide people with better
opportunities to live active healthy lives. “WHO is calling for industries,
civil society and governments, as well as UN agencies, to build a common vision
for creating more active societies through sport, walking, cycling
and playing”, she explained.
The agency points out three key
actions: stronger partnerships across sectors; stronger governance structures
and regulations; and broader, deeper and innovative financing mechanisms.