SEA/RC69/15: Promoting physical activity in the South–East Asia Region
AbstractInsufficient physical activity (PA) is the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality with approximately 3.2 million annual deaths and 69.3 million DALYs (disability-adjusted life years) lost each year globally. Inadequate PA leads to cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and obesity, colon cancer, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, lipid disorders, depression and anxiety. The prevalence of inadequate physical activity among adolescents aged 11–17 years has reached alarming levels globally with 78% of adolescent boys and 84% of girls reporting insufficient PA. About 70% of boys and 80% of girls and nearly one-third of all adults in the WHO South-East Asia Region report insufficient physical activity. Promoting physical activity is a cost-effective approach and has a long-term impact on healthy lifestyles for individuals, communities and entire populations, when applied strategically and implemented effectively in all settings and across all walks of life. Promoting physical activity requires a multisectoral approach to operationalize policies, plans and strategies that are in place with appropriate measurable targets to reduce physical inactivity and sedentary lifestyles. Effective interventions within and beyond the health sector focusing on policy, the environment, media, schools, workplaces, communities and cities can increase PA levels among populations. PA can also significantly contribute towards achieving many of the Sustainable Development Goals and is an important factor in ensuring sustainable and healthy lifestyles. The attached Working Paper was presented to the High-Level Preparatory (HLP) Meeting for its review and recommendations. The recommendations made by the HLP Meeting for consideration to the Sixty-ninth Session of the Regional Committee are: Actions by Member States (1) Propose a resolution on the promotion of physical activity in the South-East Asia Region at the Sixty-ninth Session of the Regional Committee for South-East Asia in September 2016. (2) Establish physical activity strategies and implement strong concrete programmes to bring national policy commitments into action and promote physical activity at all levels of the community for all age groups (children, pregnant women, workers, senior citizens, etc.). (3) Promote physical activities already ongoing in many Member States and share the experiences gained from the practice of yoga and alternative and traditional methods; and encourage and share among Member States other local practices. (4) Develop infrastructure and collaborative mechanisms by identifying partners beyond the health sector to promote physical activity. (5) Encourage information dissemination, monitoring and advocacy on the effectiveness of physical activity, and bolster health promotion interventions to scale up best practices. (6) Encourage and effectively implement NCD “best buys”. Actions by WHO (1) Develop region-specific guidelines for the promotion of physical activity. (2) Share regional and global good practices such as yoga and other traditional approaches for physical activity among Member States. (3) Support Member States to monitor and evaluate progress made on the promotion of physical activity. This Working Paper and the HLP Meeting recommendations are submitted to the Sixty-ninth Session of the WHO Regional Committee for South-East Asia for its consideration and decision.
Regional Office for South-East Asia, World Health Organization. (2016). SEA/RC69/15: Promoting physical activity in the South–East Asia Region. WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia. http://www.who.int/iris/handle/10665/246275