Last week the World Health Organization launched the Global Action Plan on Physical Activity 2018 - 2030. The launch event was hosted by Portugal's Minister for Public Health in Lisbon.
Physical inactivity is a problem worldwide. As countries develop economically, levels of physical inactivity increase dramatically. In some countries, these can be as high as 70%, due to changing transport patterns, increased use of technology, cultural values and urbanization. In this context, the Global Action Plan on Physical Activity shows a path for countries to reduce physical inactivity in adults and adolescents by 15% by 2030.
The Global Action Plan on Physical Activity has four main objectives and recommends a set of 20 policy areas, which combined, aim to create more active societies through improving the environments and opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to do more walking, cycling, sport, active recreation, dance and play.
The four main objectives are:
Create an active society - social norms and attitudes.
Create active environments - spaces and places
Create active people - programmes and opportunities
Create active systems - governance and policy enablers
Walking is in the heart of many of the policy actions and explicitly stated in policy action 2.2 "Improve walking and cycling networks". Have a look at the detailed document of the Global Action Plan on Physical Activity.
At the launch, Development Director Bronwen Thornton gave an insightful, inspiring speech about supporting walking in our cities.
Her speech "Let's walk: promoting walking in cities"emphasized the potential of Activity Friendly Neighbourhoods to significantly increase physical activity in urban environments and how to enable and invite people to choose to walk.