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.


Why physical activity?

Regular physical activity has a wide range of health and well-being benefits. This chapter provides an overview of these benefits. It also outlines the frequency, intensity, type and duration of physical activity that is recommended for different population groups. Finally, it describes the current policy measures that are in place in the European Union to encourage physical activity in the population.


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