New WHO physical activity plan to help people around the world get out and active

Earlier this month, the World Health Organization launched the new Global Action Plan on Physical Activity in Geneva.

The action plan aims to achieve a 15 percent increase in the number of regularly physically active people worldwide by 2030. It comes as the Ministry of Health and Sport New Zealand are developing a framework to increase New Zealanders’ levels of physical activities.

“Regular physical activity is key to maintaining quality health. Being physically active can help lower the risk of developing type-2 diabetes, stroke and heart and lung conditions. And for some people it may be good for mental wellbeing, reducing the risk of stress, anxiety and depression,” says David Clark.

“It is important that children and young people are regularly physically active too as this sets them up for a healthy life and helps them excel at their studies. Physical activity makes children more engaged in the classroom, stay enrolled in school longer and achieve better results,” says David Clark.

The Ministry of Health and Sport New Zealand recommend that New Zealand adults are active for at least 150 minutes a week, while New Zealand children and young people should aim to achieve at least 300 minutes. Read the Ministry’s Physical Activity Guidelines.

“New Zealand is an active country by global standards, but we’re not immune to the trend toward less active lifestyles. We know that people have less time and more choices for being physically active, and how important quality opportunities – particularly for youth – are in promoting and sustaining healthy activity levels throughout life,” says Grant Robertson.

More Active People for a Healthier World highlights there are many policy actions that can promote and support people of all ages and ability to participate in walking, cycling, sport, active play, dance and recreation. A whole of community – whole of systems – approach is outlined with an invitation for all relevant sectors to work in partnership to implement the recommendations.

To support countries and build momentum for this global agenda WHO also launched their new campaign Let’s Be Active – a call for all stakeholders from research to city redevelopment to engage in implementation of the 20 policy recommendations.

Developed over 12 months and involving over 100 stakeholders and Member states, the new Global Action Plan policy was fully endorsed by the World Health Assembly in May 2018.

Read more about the new Global Action Plan on Physical Activity on the World Health Organization website.