New WHO progress report reveals that levels of physical activity are stalling

WHO/Malin Bring

Three years after European Member States committed to implementing the Physical activity strategy for the WHO European Region 2016–2025, an assessment of progress reveals that levels of physical activity are stalling.

The report detailing this assessment will be presented at the 68th session of the WHO Regional Committee for Europe, taking place this week in Rome, Italy. It reveals that immediate action must be taken in order to improve physical activity across the Region, and prioritizes areas where improvement needs to occur first.

One of the 9 global targets outlined in the report is a 10% relative reduction in the prevalence of insufficient physical activity by 2025. However, the report describes a worrying reality in which levels of physical activity are stagnant.

While some progress has been made, Member States can do more to aid individuals in achieving good health, regardless of gender, race or socioeconomic background. The report reminds the Region that engaging in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity each week lowers the chances of developing noncommunicable diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancers, diabetes and obesity, and decreases the risk of premature mortality.

To increase physical activity in the Region, the report prioritizes 5 areas for improvement:

  • focusing on children and adolescents;
  • promoting physical activity in the workplace and through the health-care system;
  • providing leadership and coordination for the promotion of physical activity;
  • engaging the older population; and
  • supporting action through surveillance, evaluation and research.

The full report can be accessed via the link below.