New WHO report on “Planning cities to boost physical activity”
A new publication from WHO/Europe is offering guiding principles for the WHO European Region to move towards increased physical activity in urban settings by transforming public spaces in ways that promote physically active lifestyles. With more than 80% of the European population expected to live in urban areas by 2030, cities have a pivotal role to play in promoting and protecting health and well-being.
Physical inactivity accounts for an increasing proportion of deaths and disability across the Region. It is also associated with high health-care costs and lost productivity. Regular physical activity, on the other hand, is a safeguard against a range of chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and some cancers. It is also a key determinant of weight control.
The report offers an analysis of existing initiatives designed to boost physical activity in cities, aiming to move such initiatives forward. It also focuses on recent case studies of urban planning to promote physical activity. It specifically explores examples from parts of the Region that have been less studied, and aims to demonstrate how common principles and concepts in urban planning can be used to encourage greater levels of physical activity.
Through these case studies, the report seeks to provide inspiration and guidance on how different cities, in different contexts and at different stages of development, can use planning to encourage more physically active lifestyles for their residents.
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