Promoting physical activity in health care settings
The burden and threat of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) constitutes a major public health challenge worldwide. A large percentage of NCDs are preventable through the reduction of the associated behavioural risk factors, such as physical inactivity.
The benefits of regular physical activity are well known in both scientific and health settings by reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, breast and colon cancer and depression. Therefore, WHO/Europe is highly committed to the promotion of physical activity in health policy, by promoting and collaborating in several initiatives to support the Member States.
The "WHO expert meeting on physical activity promotion in health care settings" was held in November 2013, in Zurich, Switzerland. The main goals were to:
- provide an overview of the current state and ongoing developments;
- review implementation of programmes for physical activity promotion in health care settings;
- discuss the respective opportunities and challenges.
As a result of this meeting, the draft for the Zurich Declaration is ongoing, in order to set the priorities of the future actions in the WHO European Region within this subject, which will include the Zurich statement on physical activity promotion in health care.