Title: Worldwide trends in insufficient physical activity from 2001 to 2016: a pooled analysis of 358 population-based surveys with 1·9 million participant
There is strong global evidence that being physically active decreases the risk of cancers of the colon, breast and endometrium (uterus). Furthermore vigorous physical activity decreases risk of both pre and post-menopausal breast cancer (https://www.wcrf.org/dietandcancer/exposures/physical-activity)
Being physically active also decreases risk of diabetes, heart disease and a host of other disorders. Additionally, active living can contribute to good mental health and well-being.
Whilst we hear about physical activity in the western world, we hear much less about global trends.
SCPN friend Professor Nanette Mutrie (Professor of Physical Activity for Health, University of Edinburgh) had an international paper for her paper of the year and considers policy implications and more importantly policy implications
Regina Guthold, Gretchen A Stevens, Leanne M Riley, Fiona C Bull (2018) Worldwide trends in insufficient physical activity from 2001 to 2016: a pooled analysis of 358 population-based surveys with 1·9 million participant Lancet Glob Health 2018; 6: e1077–86
Why is this paper important?
- For some considerable time physical activity advocates have been worried about decreasing activity levels around the world. It was always hard to quantify that worry. The from about 1995 the world got serious about trying to reverse that trend as a result of the US Surgeon General’s report on physical activity for health. Many countries then began to put policies in place that would help their populations become more active. The Scottish Policy ‘lets make Scotland more active’ was produced in 2003. This paper which I have chosen as my favourite shows, for the first time, trends in national surveys with good measures of physical inactivity.
- The main message is that globally, despite a rapid increase in policies to promote physical inactivity, levels of activity are static with more than 1 in 4 people not getting enough activity to benefit health. Also at a global level more men than women are sufficiently active. And perhaps most worrying for those of us that live in Western developed countries – there is evidence for these countries in Increasing levels of inactivity despite widespread policies to promote activity.
- Policies must now be resourced and implemented at scale to increase physical activity worldwide