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Let’s share, help deliver and sustain the WHO global action plan on physical activity
  1. Andrew Murray1,2,
  2. Charlie Foster3,4,
  3. Emmanuel Stamatakis1
  1. 1 Physical Activity for Health Research Centre, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
  2. 2 Sport and Exercise, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
  3. 3 Centre for Exercise, Nutrition and Health Science, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK
  4. 4 Charles Perkins Centre, Prevention Research Collaboration, School of Public Health, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Andrew Murray, Physical Activity for Health Research Centre, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH8 9YL, UK; docandrewmurray{at}

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The first Global Action Plan for Physical Activity1 (GAPPA) has been launched by the World Health Organisation. The cover is shown in figure 1.

Why do we need it?

Increasing physical activity (PA) will improve health. The science is strong on the benefits for people of all ages. The role PA plays in reducing the risk of non-communicable diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and depression, is well recognised.2 3 Increasing PA is a global health priority and can also contribute towards attaining many of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals set for 2030.4

Many countries have produced quality research and good policy frameworks on PA but large gaps remain between what we know/advise and what we do. These gaps were neatly described by Brownson et al as ‘parallel universes’.5 What is needed is a coherent route map to guide policy action and to support partnerships and help implement approaches that increase PA across the globe. GAPPA now provides that common road map.

The Global Action Plan on Physical Activity

GAPPA did not happen overnight. Over a decade of …

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  • Contributors All authors drafted, edited and finalised the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.