W.H.O. Debuts Report on Harms of ‘Physical Inactivity’ — Two Years After ‘Stay Home, Stay Safe’

Image Credits: FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images.

The World Health Organization (W.H.O.) published a lengthy report this week on the importance of physical activity in keeping the world healthy, concluding that sedentary lifestyles are responsible for as much as $27 billion in needless healthcare costs a year and urging governments to implement coherent national policies to promote exercise, including “mass” events.

The report includes findings from 2020, a year in which most governments in the West, and a large number in the rest of the world, invested heavily in “Stay Home, Stay Safe” campaigns urging citizens not to leave their homes or engage in any outdoor activity as a means of preventing the spread of Chinese coronavirus. Governments around the world, including many local governments in America, closed down some of the most important sites of physical activity for adults and children – gyms and playgrounds – going as far as to prosecute some gym owners for defying lockdown restrictions and arresting parents for giving their children fresh air.

“Your hip hop yoga class can fucking wait,” pop star Ariana Grande advised fans in 2020, in direct contradiction to the findings of Wednesday’s W.H.O. Global Status Report on Physical Activity 2022.

In contrast to the policies that many governments took in discouraging outdoor activity during the early days of the pandemic, the W.H.O. emphasized, “the [Chinese coronavirus] pandemic has shown that physical activity must be a core component of public policy, with all countries ensuring provision of equitable physical activity opportunities for all.”

Read more