Scaling up physical activity interventions worldwide: stepping up to larger and smarter approaches to get people moving

Lancet. 2016 Sep 24;388(10051):1337-48. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(16)30728-0. Epub 2016 Jul 28.


The global pandemic of physical inactivity requires a multisectoral, multidisciplinary public-health response. Scaling up interventions that are capable of increasing levels of physical activity in populations across the varying cultural, geographic, social, and economic contexts worldwide is challenging, but feasible. In this paper, we review the factors that could help to achieve this. We use a mixed-methods approach to comprehensively examine these factors, drawing on the best available evidence from both evidence-to-practice and practice-to-evidence methods. Policies to support active living across society are needed, particularly outside the health-care sector, as demonstrated by some of the successful examples of scale up identified in this paper. Researchers, research funders, and practitioners and policymakers in culture, education, health, leisure, planning, and transport, and civil society as a whole, all have a role. We should embrace the challenge of taking action to a higher level, aligning physical activity and health objectives with broader social, environmental, and sustainable development goals.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Comment

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Motor Activity*