New data released today by the World Health Organization (WHO) reveals that nearly one third of adults are not meeting the recommended levels of physical activity. Key findings include:

  • 31% of adults are inactive and are not meeting the recommended levels of physical activity (just 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week)

  • If this trend in inactivity continues, global levels of physical inactivity are projected to rise to 35% by 2030 (from 26% in 2010)

  • There is a widening gap in participation based on age and gender; women are less active than men by at least 5 percentage points and after 60 years of age physical inactivity rises rapidly

  • New data on adolescents is due later this year, but we already know 81% are not doing enough physical activity to maintain good health

  • The economic cost of treating health conditions that are preventable by engaging in a more active lifestyle will exceed US$300 billion by 2030

In response to the new data, sport and fitness industry leaders, including the Health & Fitness Association, have come together with the World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry (WFSGI) to support a call for urgent action.

As part of a joint statement, and for the first time in our industry's history, 25 CEO and C-Suite leaders are highlighting the need for multi-stakeholder collaboration to tackle this alarming situation.

"Increasing physical activity is one of the single, most beneficial things all persons can do to improve their physical and mental health," said president & CEO Liz Clark. "That’s why the Health & Fitness Association is working to improve youth and adult access to sports and physical activity programs, such as gyms and exercise classes, as well as to promote individual exercise and group activities. This WHO report spotlights a concerning data set and should underscore for policy makers in individual countries and among the global NGO community, the need to focus efforts on one of the most available and affordable actions, people of all ages can take to improve their physical and mental health: exercise."