One of the SCPN favourite tasks is sharing current science and evidence relating to factors that influence cancer prevention and screening. Whilst many people are exploring favourite reads of the year for Christmas reading we ask some of our SCPN friends to tell us about their recommended read or paper of the year for sharing. This year we start with our recommendation from Ann Gates – perhaps better known as @Exerciseworks. Increasing physical activity is a key pillar in reducing cancer risk and finding ways to support and encourage active lifestyles is crucial to healthy ways of life..


Title: More active people for a healthier world: the global physical activity plan 2018-2030 #GAPPA

Author: The World Health Organisation 2018.

Weblink to full report:

Weblink to the summary report: 


This WHO report provides a systems approach for a healthier world. It provides a systems based strategy to help countries scale up policy actions to promote physical activity. The plan sets out four objectives and recommends 20 policy actions that are applicable to all countries and address the cultural, environmental and individual determinants of inactivity. A key feature of this new plan is its call for a ‘’systems-based’’ approach where effective implementation will require bold leadership combined with cross-government and multisectoral partnerships at all levels to achieve a coordinated, whole-of-system response.

Take home messages:

This global action plan for physical activity provides a practical, coordinated, strategic approach to increasing physical activity and decreasing sedentary behaviour and inactivity. 

I love it- because it ensures that any policy decisions in health and beyond should reflect and support this work; so it makes it easier for clinicians and leaders to contribute equitably to improve patient care and population health. It specifically encourages each country to set up systems for undergraduate education on physical activity and noncommunicable diseases such as cancer to ensure that we equip the future health care workforce to make every contact count for prevention and treatment options with physical activity. So this has be an excellent opportunity in the prevention and treatment of cancer, across the life-course, and within all abilities. Well done, WHO!

Ann Gates is an Honorary Visiting Professor Plymouth Marjon University, Honorary Associate Professor The University of Nottingham, a member of the World Heart Federation Emerging Leader’s Programme 2014-2018, Associate Editor for The British Journal of Sports Medicine, Certified NHS Change Agent and Founder and CEO of Exercise Works! Her first job as a clinical pharmacist was working on the cancer wards of the fabulous Derbyshire Royal Infirmary from 1983-1987, and she retained a life-long interest in cancer care, especially regarding access to medicines and physical activity.

Images: Unsplash