10 facts on physical activity
Reviewed March 2013
Physical inactivity is the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality. Increasing levels of physical inactivity are seen worldwide, in high-income countries as well as low- and middle-income countries.
However, given a supportive environment, increasing levels of physical activity bring health benefits across age groups. WHO provides recommendations for the optimal amounts of activity, but doing some physical activity is better than doing none. Inactive people should start with small amounts of physical activity and gradually increase duration, frequency and intensity over time.
All sectors and all levels within governments, international partners, civil society, non-governmental organizations and the private sector have vital roles to play in shaping healthy environments and contributing to the promotion of physical activity.