World Days for Health and Physical Activity 2022

World Days for Health and Physical Activity 2022

Two contiguous dates for two important and closely linked celebrations: World Physical Activity Day (April 6, an initiative supported by the UN and promoted by the international AgitaMundo network) and World Health Day (April 7, promoted by the World Health Organization, WHO). “Move to live” (mover to live, in Portuguese), the slogan of the 2022 edition of World Physical Activity Day underlines, in fact, how essential an active lifestyle is for our physical and psychological well-being and for health in general. . And so, “Our planet, our life” (Our planet, our healthin English) – complaint of World Health Day 2022 – highlights the importance of the urgent actions needed to keep the general population and the planet healthy and to create well-being societies.

Already the Toronto Charter, developed in May 2010 by a group of experts from the Global Advocacy for Physical Activity (GAPA), affirmed: “Physical activity promotes well-being, physical and mental health, prevents disease, improves social relations and quality of life produce economic benefits and contribute to environmental sustainability”, linking the health of individuals, the promotion of physical activity and the need for healthy and sustainable living environments. Twenty-two years later, the close correlation between the three themes (physical activity, living environment and health) is still relevant and conveniently at the forefront of the national and international health policy agenda.

Thanks to the awareness campaign Our planet, our health, the WHO wants to urge governments and public opinion to share initiatives and actions aimed at protecting our planet and people’s health and prioritizing societies based on well-being. The WHO asks three questions: “Can we reimagine a world in which clean air, water and food are accessible to all? Where economies are focused on health and well-being? Where cities are livable and people have control over their health and that of the planet? “. The COVID-19 pandemic has helped to understand the important role of science but has also highlighted global inequalities in different sectors (health, economy, etc.) highlighting the urgency of creating sustainable societies and well-being (sustainable welfare societies) with a commitment to achieving equitable health for current and future generations without violating ecological limits (WHO estimates that more than 13 million deaths worldwide each year are due to preventable environmental causes).

An example of the synergy between the promotion of physical activity and health, environmental sustainability and economic savings can be offered by the “explosion” of active mobility – understood as the use of a bicycle or the choice to walk to work or school or for regular trips – which have increased in recent years, also as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

SOR materials for World Physical Activity Day

On the occasion of World Day of Physical Activity 2022, DORS (Regional Documentation Center for Health Promotion) translated into Italian communication products created by the Public Health Agency of Catalonia (ASPCAT) and intended for health professionals to encourage active habits and counter a sedentary lifestyle:

  • the poster “April 6. Move your life”
  • the decalogue “10 tips to make your life more active”

In addition, DORS has made available an “initiative kit foradvocacy“That is, a multimedia collection designed to trigger, in the territory, collaborations and intersectoral actions for an active lifestyle through the sharing and adoption of the document” Eight investments that work to promote the physical activity” from the International Society for Physical Activity and Health (ISPAH).

The contribution of monitoring

In Italy, various surveillance systems and surveys coordinated by the Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS) monitor the health status of the population in different age groups by collecting data on various indicators. On the occasion of World Physical Activity Day 2022, the PASSI and PASSI d’Argento surveys have carried out an ad hoc study on the latest available data on the levels of physical activity achieved respectively by the adult population 18-69 years and by people over 65 years old. Today, the availability of complete data for the two-year period 2020-2021 offers the opportunity to make the first assessments of the impact of the pandemic on the practice of physical activity, referring not only to the consequences immediate confinement periods and related restrictions adopted mainly in 2020, but also in the following period, during which there was a gradual relaxation of measures to contain the spread of the contagion in 2021.

The origin of dates

  • In 1948, the first World Health Assembly decided to establish a day dedicated to health worldwide. Since 1950, World Health Day has therefore been celebrated on April 7, to commemorate the founding of the WHO on April 7, 1948.
  • The choice of April 6 as the date for World Physical Activity Day is explained by the fact that in 2002, during its 55th session, the Assembly of the WHA, in its resolution WHA 55.23, urged Member States to celebrate a “Day of Action for Health”. campaign each year to promote physical activity as essential for health and well-being. The date of April 6 has been used since 2003 by some civil society organizations to celebrate a “World Day of Physical Activity”.
  • Creating a historic link to the first modern Olympic Games in 1896, April 6 was also declared the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in 2013 and has been celebrated annually since 2014. The International Olympic Committee, as Permanent Observer to the UN, has proposed and supported this initiative, as it appreciates its potential to recognize the role and contribution of sports organizations to social change and human development.

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