American Heart Association says new WHO findings on physical activity alarming

September 04, 2018 Categories: Advisories & Comments

DALLAS, September 4, 2018 – American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown issued the following comments on the World Health Organization (WHO)’s findings of insufficient physical activity in the world’s adult population. According to the study, 40 percent of adults in the United States do not get the recommended amount of physical activity.

“The American Heart Association has long recognized the importance of physical activity in the prevention of cardiovascular disease, stroke and other communicable diseases. We’re committed to developing programs and advocating for policies that make it easier to get more physical activity, regardless of where you live.  These latest findings, which indicate no improvement in global levels of physical activity since 2001, are of grave concern to the Association.

Research shows that at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity physical activity per week are imperative to overall health. Yet, this study reveals that worldwide, only about 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men get enough physical activity. This is of particular concern to the American Heart Association because low physical activity combined with excessive sedentary behavior can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke negatively impacting blood pressure, cholesterol, blood flow and weight.

With our focus on being a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives, the American Heart Association advocates for policies supporting physical education in schools and early care and education, bike and pedestrian infrastructure, safe routes to school and complete streets that integrate all modes of transportation, accounting for the needs of people and place in an equitable way.  We support physical activity assessment and prescription in the clinical environment and workplaces.  We create programs and opportunities to encourage people of all ages to get moving and provide tools and tips along the way.

As global supporters of the WHO, we stand committed to addressing chronic disease prevention across the world through policies supporting increased physical activity and other healthy behaviors to help people live longer, healthier lives for themselves, their families and their communities.

Meeting physical activity guidelines around the globe offers everyone a fighting chance against cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death worldwide."

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About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries: 214-706-1173

Linzy Cotaya: Linzy.Cotaya@heart.org, 504-473-6494

For Public Inquiries: 800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org