PtG Article 11.10.2012

New global initiative to combat physical inactivity

The lack of physical activity in everyday life has become such a rapidly increasing problem globally that a broad international effort is necessary, say the more than 70 organisations and stakeholders behind a new report called 'Designed to move - a physical activity action agenda'.

Today’s lifestyle with less physical work and sedentary leisure has made physical inactivity a growing problem in the Western hemisphere and countries like China and Brazil, which are currently experiencing strong economic growth and increased prosperity. On this basis, more than 70 partners, in co-operation with sports goods manufacturer Nike have launched the ‘Designed to move’ campaign aiming at creating international awareness of the need to involve larger segments of the population in physical activity.The report 'Designed to move - a physical activity action agenda' calls for action and refers in particular to a U.S. study, which shows that in the United States and Britain, the average citizen’s physical activity has decreased by 32 and 20 per cent since the sixties. If this trend continues, the Americans could end up being only half as physically active as their grandparents in 20 years.A similar trend can be traced in emerging economies such as India, Brazil and especially China. In just 18 years, from 1991-2009, the Chinese have become 45% less physically active, while India's population as a whole is less influenced by urbanization and changing work patterns.Report promotes two ‘asks’According to the report the development is so dramatic that it challenges public health and creates a risk of more social problems.On this basis, the report behind the initiative recommends two areas on which to focus in order to promote physical activity globally:

  • Create early positive experiences for childrenEmphasis should be put on creating more positive experiences related to physical activity for children through school sport and other sport and physical activity specifically targeted at the youngest in society.
  • Integrate physical activity into everyday life The physical environment should encourage physical activity in everyday life – i.e. through targeted urban planning, transport policies and corporate initiatives.

The report is co-authored by Nike, The International Council of Sport Science and Physical Education (ICSSPE) and The American College of Sports Medicine.Among the partner organisations who support the initiative is the international grassroot sports organisation ISCA that will utilize a keynote address at its upcoming congress MOVE2012 later this month in São Paulo, Brazil to spark the debate.Read more about the Designed to move initiative

Read more about the initiative on ISCA’s webiste

Read more about the MOVE2012 congress