Article Text

How can global physical activity surveillance adapt to evolving physical activity guidelines? Needs, challenges and future directions
  1. Richard P Troiano1,
  2. Emmanuel Stamatakis2,
  3. Fiona C Bull3,4
  1. 1 Risk Factor Assessment Branch, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland, USA
  2. 2 School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  3. 3 Prevention on Noncommunicable Disease, Organisation mondiale de la Sante, Geneve, Switzerland
  4. 4 School of Human Science, The University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Richard P Troiano, Risk Factor Assessment Branch, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD 20892-9762, USA; troianor{at}


Public health guidelines on physical activity (PA) establish national policy agendas and provide the basis for setting goals and targets. Advances in measurement and resulting new scientific findings lead to evolution of PA guidelines. PA surveillance serves to track compliance with national guidelines, usually expressed as the proportion of the population ‘meeting’ the main quantitative guidelines. The WHO recently completed a process to review and update the global PA guidelines. Changes to the guidelines, such as removal of a 10-min bout criterion, pose challenges for PA surveillance. We review the evolution of PA guidelines and associated surveillance methods and explore implications of the updated guidelines for changes in population surveillance and opportunities for technological approaches to PA to enhance surveillance.

  • physical activity
  • surveillance
  • accelerometer

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  • Contributors All authors substantially contributed to conception of this manuscript. Drafting and revisions were jointly accomplished. Each author has approved the version submitted and will provide final approval of the version published. All authors agree to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

  • 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.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

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

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