Physical activity

Regular physical activity such as walking, cycling, or dancing not only makes you feel good, it has significant benefits for health. It reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and some cancers, helps control weight, and contributes to mental well-being. Taking part in physical activity also increases opportunities for making friends and feeling part of the community.

Active living benefits health at any age, but it is especially important to the healthy development of children and young people, and can make a substantial difference to the well-being of older people. On the contrary, physical inactivity and sedentary behaviour are two of the leading risk factors for health and is estimated to attribute to one million deaths per year in the WHO European Region.

Increasing physical activity across sectors

There are many ways to increase physical activity, whether it be at school or at work or in the transport choices you have, or the place you live in. WHO calls on all sectors, including health, transport, housing and education to engage with this issue and collaborate in effective policies and interventions.