New Lancet data illustrates inactivity challenge – and between the lines, also the solutions!


Comment by ISCA Secretary General Jacob Schouenborg.

At first sight, the new data from The Lancet Global Health can seem depressing – showing a stagnation or even an increase in inactivity levels. And there is no doubt that this situation is challenging.

But when you take a closer look, there are actually some important insights that we in the grassroots sport sector can use.

Firstly, there are big gaps between different regions and different countries. In other words, some countries promote physical activity better that others. ISCA works daily to ensure that important learnings and good practices from the best performing organisations and countries are shared across borders. In other words: There are solutions that work, and there is something we can do!

Secondly, the persistent gender gap in inactivity across the world shows that we also need to tackle social and cultural barriers to being active. This requires a cross-sector approach, and ISCA is here to highlight the value and cost-effectiveness of civil society organisations in this equation. Governments have an important role to play – and they can benefit greatly from working with civil society solutions.

In summary, it is important to focus on what can be done, instead of despairing over the challenge. Other major global health risks are declining – and we can make the same happen for inactivity!

The new Lancet Global Health results were announced internationally today by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and their media partners, including ISCA. You can read the full press release here.

Physical activity advocacy milestones for ISCA and our members in 2017/2018