Step Up! Tackling the Burden of Insufficient Physical Activity in Europe

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This report calls on policy makers to step up the policy response to increase physical activity. Being physically active is one of the most important things people can do to improve their physical and mental health. It helps prevent a range of non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease and cancer, and improves mental health and cognitive functioning, among other benefits. Nevertheless, too many Europeans are physically inactive. One in three European adults do not meet the WHO physical activity guidelines, and almost half never exercise or play sport. The report describes patterns and trends of insufficient physical activity in Europe. It reviews the detrimental impact that current physical inactivity levels have on population health and health expenditure. The report provides policy makers with options to address insufficient physical activity, drawing on case studies from across Europe.


Policy options to increase physical activity

To increase physical activity levels in the population, a wide range of policy options exists. This chapter provides an overview of these policies, drawing on case studies from across the European Union. The chapter covers interventions in schools, workplaces, and in the health care setting, as well as communication and information policies, policies to increase access to sports facilities, and to change the environment to encourage active transport and outdoor activities. It advocates for a comprehensive, well-funded package of policies to get people moving.


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