IOC reiterates its support for the Hamburg Declaration to tackle physical inactivity

26 Jun 2023
IOC News Olympism365

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has further underscored its commitment to encouraging healthy and active lifestyles through its support for the Global Alliance for the Promotion of Physical Activity, enshrined in the Hamburg Declaration, of which the IOC is one of over 100 signatories.

IOC reiterates its support for the Hamburg Declaration to tackle physical inactivity Getty Images

The Global Alliance was renewed during the Sports, Medicine and Health Summit, which was held in Hamburg from 22 to 24 June 2023. During the Summit, four policy asks and actions were discussed by the participant organisations, in order to implement specific measures and efforts to combat physical inactivity:

  • Promote Physical Activity as Medicine.
  • Lobby Decision-Makers.
  • Adapt Physical Activity to the Individual, Community and their Surroundings.
  • Leverage the Latest Tech.

A collective effort to combat a global issue

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that children and teenagers engage in at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day, while adults should do at least 150 minutes throughout the week. But a 2022 report revealed that 81 per cent of adolescents and 27.5 per cent of adults are not meeting these goals.

Driven by the Hamburg Declaration, the Global Alliance for the Promotion of Physical Activity represents a significant and concerted effort by the sports medicine community to contribute to reverse this trend and seeks to combat this inactivity by promoting physical activity as medicine, lobbying decision-makers, adapting physical activity to individuals and communities, and leveraging the latest technology to integrate physical activity into daily life. Their collective efforts are aimed at improving public health, enhancing well-being and addressing the societal impact of physical inactivity.

The Global Alliance will also support the joint programme launched by the IOC and WHO in November last year that aims to strengthen the role of sport in contributing to the Global Action Plan on Physical Activity target of a 15 per cent reduction in physical inactivity by 2030.

The three-year programme will see the IOC and WHO join forces to provide guidance, training and toolkits to both health and sports organisations to help more people to move, alongside increased IOC support for community sport and physical activity participation initiatives through Olympism365 and its focus on sport, health and active communities.

The signature of the Hamburg Declaration has also been endorsed by the IOC Medical and Scientific Commission, chaired by Professor Uğur Erdener, which in 2022 created a Physical Activity and Population Health working group. The recent event in Hamburg was also attended by Yannis Pitsiladis and Fabio Pigozzi, both members of the IOC Medical and Scientific Commission, Fiona Bull, another member of the IOC Medical and Scientific Commission and Head of Physical Activity Unit at WHO, and Joel Bouzou OLY, President of the World Olympians Association (WOA).

Physical activity at the heart of Olympic Day 2023

The IOC has long advocated for the role that sport and the Olympic Games can play in fostering healthy and active lives. With regular physical activity helping to prevent noncommunicable diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and several cancers, the importance of sport to living a healthy lifestyle is undeniable.

The IOC’s support of the Global Alliance for the Promotion of Physical Activity comes as it launches Let’s Move – a new global initiative, created in collaboration with the WHO, to inspire and enable the world to move more every day.

Led by Olympians, Let’s Move was launched as the Olympic Movement celebrated Olympic Day on 23 June, with an invitation to make time every day for movement for better health. 

Joining the Global Alliance for the Promotion of Physical Activity also aligns with the IOC’s Olympism365 strategy, which is focused on strengthening the role of sport as an enabler for the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

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