Public Policy Actions Needed to Promote Physical Activity

Published on line, 2011. Written by Bill Bellew, Adrian Bauman, Brian Martin, Fiona Bull & Victor Matsudo


Physical inactivity is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, and strategies to increase activity levels are as important to population health as smoking cessation, cholesterol control, or preventing obesity. The World Health Organization has identified that governments and non-government agencies have a central role in the creation of environments that facilitate physical activity changes by individuals, families, and communities. This article describes recent policy-related programs at a large scale or national level to promote physical activity. This is proposed within a framework that codifies evidence-based policy actions, based on the International Physical Activity Recommendations. Examples are provided of current policy actions from diverse settings around the world. Finally, future policy directions needed for the promotion of physical activity are discussed and related research needs identified.

Keywords Physical activity. Health policy. Health promotion . Disease prevention

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