Physical inactivity: a global public health problem. Prof Fiona Bull, WHO Episode #368


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Did you know that worldwide, more than one in four adults (28% or 1.4 billion) are physically inactive? In some countries, it’s as high as one in three! How many more times do we need to be reminded that physical inactivity is one of the leading risk factors for global mortality before we finally decide to get off the couch? On this week’s episode, Prof Fiona Bull MBE (T: @fiona_bull) joins BJSM’s Daniel Friedman (T: @ddfriedman) to discuss the latest physical activity trend data and explain how clinicians can play their part to increase levels of physical activity for a more active world. Prof Bull is the Programme Manager in the Department of Prevention of Noncommunicable Diseases (NCD) at the World Health Organization based in Geneva, Switzerland. She leads the WHO’s global work on physical inactivity, healthy eating and the prevention of obesity, and provides leadership for global monitoring and surveillance of NCDs and their risk factors. Bull joined WHO in 2017 after 25 years in applied research in Australia, the UK and the USA. Her recent positions include Professor of Public Health and Director of the Centre for Built Environment and Health at the University of Western Australia and Professor of Sports Science and Director of National Centre of Physical Activity at Loughborough University in the UK. Bull has co-authored over 180 scientific publications and reports. Her interest is in bridging the knowledge-policy-practice gap, and she has been actively involved in civil society. She is immediate past President of the International Society of Physical Activity. In 2014, Bull was awarded a Member of the British Empire (MBE) for her services to public health. In this 15 minute conversation, Prof Bull addresses: · Physical inactivity trends over the past 16 years · The causes of physical inactivity · What the WHO is doing to support countries increase physical activity · What clinicians can do to play their part Further reading: Guthold R, Stevens GA, Riley LM, Bull FC. Worldwide trends in insufficient physical activity from 2001 to 2016: a pooled analysis of 358 population-based surveys with 1· 9 million participants. The Lancet Global Health. 2018 Oct 1;6(10):e1077-86. World Health Organization. (‎2018)‎. ACTIVE: a technical package for increasing physical activity. World Health Organization. Global action plan on physical activity 2018–2030: more active people for a healthier world. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2018. Global action plan on physical activity 2018-2030: At a glance

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