Sport, parks and leisure - World Health Organization lays out five priorities for governments in getting people active, Dr Fiona Bull tells HCM...
04 Feb 2023 Sport, parks, & leisure: daily news and jobs
 
 
HOME
JOBS
NEWS
FEATURES
PRODUCTS
FREE DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTION
PRINT SUBSCRIPTION
ADVERTISE
CONTACT US
Sign up for FREE ezine
Latest news

04 Jan 2023

World Health Organization lays out five priorities for governments in getting people active, Dr Fiona Bull tells HCM
BY Frances Marcellin

Dr Fiona Bull is head of the physical activity unit at the World Health Organization (WHO)

Dr Fiona Bull is head of the physical activity unit at the World Health Organization (WHO)
photo: WHO

Dr Fiona Bull, head of the physical activity unit at the World Health Organization (WHO), has stated that “demonstrating impact is key” for the physical activity sector when it comes to delivering on its potential to society. “Without it, we’re just asking governments for handouts,” she said.

While the industry is already good at demonstrating the health benefits of exercise, Bull underlined the importance of proving its impact in other areas. “We need to strengthen the evidence base around the wider benefits: economic, community, social and environmental,” she said. “In fact, work is already underway to improve the methodologies used to demonstrate social return on investment, in collaboration with organisations such as Europe Active.”

Bull’s comments were revealed during an exclusive interview with HCM, following the release of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Global Status Report on Physical Activity 2022, a follow-up to 2018’s Global Action Plan on Physical Activity 2018–2030 (GAPPA).

The latter laid out the roadmap of recommended policies for countries to implement in order to improve engagement with and maximise opportunities relating to the mass adoption of physical activity practices.

The latest report details the cost to the public health system of not acting on physical activity, an analysis of each nation’s progress on policy implementation and recommendations on actions needed to recover from the pandemic and reach GAPPA targets.

It found that US$27bn a year in direct public healthcare costs – or US$300bn by 2030 – could be averted globally by increasing participation in physical activity. In turn this would prevent an estimated 500m new cases of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and mental health conditions by 2030. “That US$300bn figure is equivalent to the cost of training around one million medical doctors in the UK or 2.3m in Brazil,” she said.

The report also revealed that progress isn’t fast enough to meet desired targets by 2030 across the 194 countries involved. Out of 29 policy indicators 18 are being achieved by fewer than half of the countries and only two are being achieved by over three-quarters. Bull says "progress is grindingly slow," while recognising the extent of the challenges being faced by governments.

With the goal of speeding up progress, Bull is launching a Register of Commitments, asking for the commitments of civil society, academics, industry and non-government organisations to support implementation in their countries.

She called on the industry to step up its inclusivity approaches – in terms of both consumers and staff – and encouraged the sector to work at shaping government policy on physical activity.

“There’s also an opportunity to influence governments’ prioritisation of physical activity and positively shape policy through advocacy,” she said. “But here it’s vital that the industry has one clear, representative voice that can communicate the roles, directions and responses the sector can provide in promoting physical activity globally.”

To drive change, the WHO has identified five key areas for change, as Bull explained to HCM:

""Firstly, we need governments to strengthen their ownership of the physical activity policies they’re responsible for, along with their leadership and accountability to implement those policies. As an example, we need all ministries of transport to appreciate their contribution to increasing physical activity through walking and cycling. They are the responsible government portfolio sector for this. Meanwhile, the education sector must ensure children have positive experiences in sport and physical activity in school, via quality physical education. We aren’t asking one department to do everything. We’re asking multiple departments to do their bit.

"The second is stronger partnerships, which is something we’ve called for many times. Sport and health, but also transport and education, must work better and closer together. There also needs to be more collaboration with communities. It doesn’t have to be top-down; communities know what they need. Joined-up action will deliver the whole system approach that creates opportunities for everyone.

"Third, to close the policy-action gap, we need to build the knowledge, competencies, workforce and guidance on how to do it. We need tools that translate high-level policy to really practical, feasible how-to advice.

"Fourth, we must address data gaps. Data will inform, guide and allow us to measure progress, yet there are some key indicator gaps that mean we don’t even know what progress we’re making – or not making. For example, we have no data on the provision of quality physical education; a global database does not exist. And that’s just one example. We don’t know what provision and access there is to walking and cycling infrastructure, either, so we can’t track that or guide progress.

"The fifth point is the need to review the alignment of financing and funding towards these policies; the implementation gap is no doubt in part due to insufficient funding and prioritisation. If we say we’re going to provide quality physical education and increase walking and cycling infrastructure, the budgets within those government portfolios must match the policy directions. At the moment, we have a mismatch in many countries."

The Global Action Plan for Physical Activity 2018-2030 (GAPPA) status report can be accessed at: www.hcmmag.com/gappa.

Download the full global status report and watch a summary video at: www.hcmmag.com/StatusReport.

HCM's interview with Fiona Bull was produced as part of a collaboration with Europe Active.



Connect with
Sport Parks Leisure
Magazine:
View issue contents
Sign up:
Instant Alerts/zines

Print edition
 

News headlines
Workout Anytime reveals profit increases, growth plans and wellness pivot
Workout Anytime reveals profit increases, growth plans and wellness pivot   03 Feb 2023

US-based fitness franchise, Workout Anytime, has confirmed that it signed deals for 49 more sites in 2022, while also opening 15. With around 200 .... more>>
MCR Active announces Andy King as CEO, readies for next chapter of growth
MCR Active announces Andy King as CEO, readies for next chapter of growth   03 Feb 2023

Andy King, chair of Manchester's GM Active, has taken the role of CEO at non-profit MCR Active. King brings more than twenty years of sports .... more>>
Cambridge researchers' AI model shows VO2 max lab-level results are achievable with wearables
Cambridge researchers' AI model shows VO2 max lab-level results are achievable with wearables   02 Feb 2023

Researchers at the University of Cambridge have found a way to establish the exact VO2 max of an individual through the use of smartwatch data that is .... more>>
Musculoskeletal health hub pilot expands to 100 sites as MSK cost to UK hits £5bn a year
Musculoskeletal health hub pilot expands to 100 sites as MSK cost to UK hits £5bn a year   02 Feb 2023

The second phase of the UK’s MSK (musculoskeletal) health hub pilot will see the service rolled out to an additional 85 swimming pools and leisure .... more>>
This indoor gaming bike only lets you play if you pedal
This indoor gaming bike only lets you play if you pedal   31 Jan 2023

Norwegian startup Play Pulse is preparing to launch its indoor gaming bike in April 2023. The concept features integrated game controllers (which also .... more>>
Company profile


Rocca Creative Thinking

Rocca. is a tech organisation specialising in sport and physical activity. It works with NGBs in sport, local government and the private sector on a global scale. It produces event, fixtures and physical activity software and apps.

View full profile>>

Catalogue gallery


Featured Supplier

Gyms are losing thousands every year by not doing these five simple things

Gyms are losing thousands every year by not doing these five simple things

With the price of just about everything going up, we all need to look again at how we best spend the allocated budget. More>>




in this issue

• Virgin gets right to wipe out rent arrears
• Fitness industry mourns passing of Jan Spaticchia
• STA offers mindfulness resources



Latest jobs

Jobs Search



Recreation Attendant
Salary: From £7.08 - £9.18ph
Location: Wythenshawe, Manchester, UK
Company: Everyone Active
Swimming Teacher
Salary: Competitive hourly rate
Location: Easton, Bristol, UK
Company: Everyone Active
Sales & Front of House Manager
Location: Wythenshawe, Manchester, UK
Company: Everyone Active
Diary dates
Powered by leisurediary.com

05-06 Mar 2023

World Spa & Wellness Conference

Excel exhibition and conference centre , London, United Kingdom



Leisure Management magazine 2018 issue 1
Leisure Management
2018 issue 1

View issue contents
View on turning pages
Download PDF
  Arts & Culture: The show must go on
When austerity hits hard, UK theatres adapt and get creative More>>
  Trends: Introducing Gen Z
How will this tech-savvy, social media-driven generation affect your business? More>>


Leisure Management magazine 2016 issue 1

Leisure Management
2016 issue 1

View issue contents
View turning pages
Download PDF
  Thermal Spa: Taking the waters
Magali Robathan met the key people behind the Gainsborough Bath Spa More>>
  Tourism: Ireland’s wild side
The Wild Atlantic Way is helping tourists discover a whole new side of Ireland More>>


Published by Leisure Media Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385 | Contact us | About us | © Cybertrek Ltd