BEST INVESTMENTS FOR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY- WHAT WORKS

What works in promoting physical activity?  I’ve been part of a group at the University of Edinburgh, and the International Society for Physical Activity and Health who have distilled this hugely important message down into an infographic.  Whether you are a member of the public, or press, please share widely!

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The key health challenge of encouraging people around the world to be more active could be addressed with a series of ideas outlined in a new report.

More space to exercise, less reliance on cars and better support from healthcare services are all highlighted in the plan, which was presented at a World Health Organisation event this weekend.

The study, by researchers at the University of Edinburgh and the International Society for Physical Activity for Health, identifies seven areas that require investment by governments and communities in order to improve levels of physical activity.

The findings could help policy makers meet WHO targets to reduce inactivity levels around the world by 10 per cent by 2025.

Greater availability of physical activity space is cited in the strategy as a key driver for global health improvement.

The plan, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, also underlines the importance of adapting transport structures to support the WHO targets. It calls on local and national authorities to prioritise walking, cycling and public transport.

Researchers also claim that physical activity advice should be more freely available from national healthcare services.

The plan identifies areas of investment that could increase levels of physical activity when applied at local, national and international levels.

These include support for programmes that promote sport for all and encourage participation across age-groups and effective communication of key messages.

Researchers assert that if the health of nations is to improve and levels of physical activity are to rise, then greater investment is needed in these areas.

Dr Andrew Murray from Edinburgh’s Physical Activity for Health Research Centre said: “Physical inactivity may well be the fundamental public health challenge of our age. Despite compelling evidence on the health benefits of physical activity, the combination of increasing mechanisation, digitisation, and urbanisation continues to inexorably squeeze essential physical activity out of our daily lives.”

“Our study distils the key messages and expert advice into bite-size chunks that will help people and policy makers get more people more active, more often. This will contribute to increased longevity and better health that regular physical activity brings.”

The seven-point plan was presented at the sixth International Congress on Physical Activity and Public Health in Bangkok. The event is co-hosted by the World Health Organization and the International Society for Physical Activity and Health.

Co-author of the study and President of the ISPAH, Prof Fiona Bull said: “The infographic published with the report presents an easy at-a-glance outline of the seven areas in which governments should be focussing their efforts and investment to increase physical activity. Too many national plans are sitting on shelves and are not being funded. It is time to take the global issue of physical inactivity much more seriously.”

The plan builds upon the ISPAH 2010 Toronto Charter for Physical Activity, which calls for all countries, regions and communities to strive for greater political and social commitment to support physical activity for all.

For further information, please contact:
Andrew Moffat, Press and PR Office, Tel +44 131 650 9836, Email andrew.moffat@ed.ac.uk

Fiona Bull, International Society for Physical Activity and Health, Email fiona.bull@uwa.edu.au

The full report can be found here: http://bjsm.bmj.com/content/early/2016/11/01/bjsports-2016-096999.full

The original report this builds on (which is a must read) is here

http://bjsm.bmj.com/content/46/10/709.full

 

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY- LEARNING AND TEACHING MATERIALS

Every single day, I get emails asking about resources to learn about physical activity for health, or resources that could be used to teach about this.  I think it is fantastic the momentum that is building, recognising that this can help ourselves, but it is also something we can share with friends, family and patients.

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Below is a list of really helpful resources, aimed largely at health professionals that can be used freely. Thanks a tonne to Profs Chris Oliver (@cyclingsurgeon) , Nanette Mutrie (@nanettemutrie) and Edinburgh University for pulling them together into one place.

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