Sumary of Experts call for immediate action to ensure physical activity is built into everyday lives:
- Not enough progress has been made to address physical inactivity worldwide, with adolescents and people living with disabilities (PLWD) among the least likely populations to have the support needed to meet the World Health Organization (WHO)’s physical activity guidelines.
- Global efforts to improve physical activity have stalled, with overall deaths caused by physical activity remaining at more than 5 million people per year.
- Physical inactivity is linked to an increased risk of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers and costs at least $54 billion per year in direct health care costs of which $31 billion is paid by the public sector.
- The slow progress to improve physical activity worldwide has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, with lockdowns likely associated with overall less physical activity worldwide.
- The authors call for immediate and urgent action to prioritize research and public health measures to improve physical activity worldwide, and ensure physical activity is built into everyday lives.
- More progress needed to improve physical activity among adolescents (paper 1) Despite the growing number of young people diagnosed with non-communicable diseases (NCDs), including cardio-metabolic and mental health disorders, the authors note that research on adolescent physical activity is limited.
- Global analysis shows that 80% of school-going adolescents are failing to meet the WHO recommended guidelines of 60 minutes of physical activity per day, with little progress made since 2012. In addition, 40% of adolescents never walk to school and 25% sit for more than 3 hours per day in addition to sitting at school and for homework.
- However, little is known about how this impacts their cardio-metabolic and mental health.