“Health crisis requires, experts want to make the promotion of physical activity a great national cause”

Ten thousand steps and more. “A health time bomb. ” It is a real cry of alarm that launched the two deputies Régis Juanico (Génération.s, Loire) and Marie Tamarelle-Verhaeghe (LREM, Eure), in a report, presented at the end of July, on the lack of physical activity. “The need to move is today a vital need, just like food or sleep, insists Marie Tamarelle-Verhaeghe, prevention doctor. It has to be integrated into everyday life. “ They formulate 18 proposals, based on the dynamics of the Olympic Games in Paris, in 2024.

As repeated many times in this column, the finding is clear. The French are far from WHO recommendations (at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week, or at least 75 minutes of sustained-intensity activity). They are not the only ones. “More than a quarter of the world’s population is physically inactive, which puts them at risk of non-communicable diseases and premature mortality,” also recalls theeditorial of a series of several articles published by The Lancet, end of July. In the UK journal, experts call for urgent action, with a focus on people with disabilities and adolescents.

Read also Lack of physical activity, a problem for adolescents around the world

Remember that 80% of adolescents in school around the world (87% in France) do not comply with the WHO recommendations to do more than sixty minutes of physical activity per day. Added to this is the rise in sedentary lifestyle.

Very high health risk

Worrisome, these findings are aggravated by the health crisis and its successive confinements. During the first, in France, nearly one in two people reduced their physical activity compared to their habits and six in ten people increased their daily time spent sitting, according to the Coviprev survey by Public Health France.

Screen time has also increased significantly. Expertise conducted by the National Food Safety Agency (ANSES), published in November 2020, found that 66% of young people aged 11 to 17 “Present a worrying health risk”, characterized by the simultaneous exceeding of two thresholds: more than two hours of screen time and less than sixty minutes of physical activity per day. Forty-nine percent are at very high health risk, with more than four and a half hours of screen and / or less than twenty minutes of physical activity per day.

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