Physical Activity Levels Decline Globally

Society is at a standstill.

The news: According to a WHO report, the world is failing with physical activity.

  • 31.3% of the global population, or 1.8B people, failed to meet recommended physical activity levels, up from 26% in 2010.
  • Women (34%) are more likely to be inactive than men (29%).
  • Physical inactivity is projected to rise to 35% by 2030.

Red flags. The WHO advocates for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity—or 75 minutes of vigorous—exercise weekly to be considered healthy while also slashing risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, dementia, and cancer.

A crisis since 2010, the organization previously urged countries to hit a 15% relative reduction in inactivity by 2030 — a goal it now says is out of reach.

Worse, 103 out of 197 countries are headed in the wrong direction.

Make Moves

As officials call for “renewed commitment” via new policies and funding, a crucial factor remains unaddressed: falling motivation.

Navigating high cost of living and digital distractions, outdoor enthusiasts are taking less trips — and despite rising memberships in the US and Europe, gym frequency isn’t following.

For meaningful change, connecting health to fitness, enabling accountability through community, and making movement fun and inclusive for all will be imperative.

Looking ahead: Losing momentum, the world is counting on a coalition of the public and private sectors to reprioritize daily movement — no matter the cost.

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