Physical Activity: Media Statements | World Obesity Federation

Physical Activity: Media Statements

In this section, we showcase media statements from esteemed experts on physical activity.

The media has a substantial influence on the beliefs, and reactions of the public to the topic. It serves as a key outlet to promote physically active lifestyles.

"Being physically active is critical for health and well-being. It can help to add years to life and life to years. Every move count, especially now as we manage the constraints of the COVID-19 pandemic. We must all move every day – safely and creatively" Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus WHO Director-General

"Obesity could soon overtake smoking as the main preventable cancer risk. Taking regular exercise is going to become increasingly important in helping to prevent cancers as the UK emerges from lockdown. Since the pandemic began a year ago, growing numbers of people have reported gaining weight after cutting down on physical activity while others say they have been eating more junk food."


  • “More activity is better, so walking 30 minutes per day is better than walking 15 minutes a day. However, overweight, and obese participants were at greater cardiovascular risk than their peers with normal weight, irrespective of activity levels.”
  • “Fighting obesity and inactivity is equally important; it should be a joint battle. Weight loss should remain a primary target for health policies together with promoting active lifestyles.”

Dr. Alejandro Lucia, European University, Madrid, Spain.

  • “When I was growing up, we didn’t have any screens to distract us. We would naturally look to go outside and play with our friends. This is a different environment now, but it does not mean that because it is different that it cannot work. There are new ways of being physically active.”
  • “Children should be doing something more interesting than, for example, merely being outside or just doing something active that isn’t on a screen. Something should attract them to do physical activity. This could involve doing something in the community or organized physical activity. But schools are crucial – they spend a lot of time there and more lessons should be based around physical activity, and more time given to organized sport.”

Ana Rito, Director of the Research Center CEIDSS, Portugal

"The development of obesity ultimately is a combination of both lifestyle and genetics. A healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise, can offset a genetic predisposition to obesity" Keith Diaz Columbia University Medical Center, New York City
  • “Physical activity of any type, and any duration can improve health and well-being, but more is always better, and if you must spend a lot of time sitting still, whether at work or school, you should do more physical activity to counter the harmful effects of sedentary behaviour”

Dr. Ruediger Krech, Director of Health Promotion for WHO

  • "The current national lockdown measures will further impact the physical and mental wellbeing of children and young people, with the cold weather and darker evenings at this time of year making physical activity targets even harder to achieve than before. This is why uk active is urging government to formulate and execute an ambitious plan to get children moving again - one that supports children during lockdown and school closures, prioritises the reopening of youth activity when lockdown ends and drives a long-term and joined-up national activity strategy that truly puts the interests of each and every child at its core."

Jack Shakespeare, UK Active

  • “Exercise needs to be promoted for health rather than for weight loss or for changing body shape. The benefits of exercise are so much more than just for fat loss, so these need to be taught in a way that teenagers can relate to that will help them to see it as beneficial to do it.”

Personal Trainer & Owner of Rushe Fitness LTD

"Right now, the opportunities to get involved in sport and activity depend too much on your background, your gender, your bank balance and your postcode. We’re determined to tackle these inequalities and unlock the advantages of being active for everyone" Tim Hollingsworth CEO, Sports Minister

Physical Activity dossier

This page will be constantly updated with new studies as they come about. In the meantime, you can view our other elements of the physical activity dossier.

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