PHYSICAL ACTIVITY PROMOTION PLAN
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY PROMOTION PLAN
Lack of physical activity has become an increasingly important cause of illness and premature mortality. The Lancet medical journal (2012) identified important agendas for global health promotion, and provided indicators showing the primary causes of premature mortality among global populations. About 5.3 million premature deaths per year are caused by chronic non-communicable diseases arising from lack of physical activities, a figure higher than the 5.1 million premature deaths per year caused by smoking cigarettes.
Additionally, a sedentary lifestyle,(e.g. long periods of sitting or reclining) may increase the risks of colon cancer and stomach cancer by up to 66%. Results of a sedentary lifestyle have become a major risk factor for the Thai population. A 2013 survey jointly conducted by Mahidol University and ThaiHealth found that Thai people spend an average of 13.15 hours in a sedentary state, and an average of only 2.19 hours on physical activities.
Over the past two decades (2004-2009), the prevalence of obesity continues to increase, based on lack of physical activity within the Thai population. There are twice as many Thai people with excess weight issues and three times as many Thai people battling obesity. Therefore, it is important to promote awareness and importance of physical activity among Thai people and policymakers. Support should be provided to continually expand results gained from cooperation within all sectors to increase physical activity in the daily lives of Thai people, and reduce overweight and obesity issues.
Focus Areas of Plan
1) Promotion of physical activities based on a life-course approach targeted for each age group, including children ( ages 6-14), teenagers (ages15-24), working adults (ages 25-59), and elderly people (60 and older). Age-appropriate knowledge about physical activity is being developed through the integration of the Healthy Food Promotion Plan, the Healthy Media System and the Spiritual Health Pathway Promotion Plan, in order to promote holistic healthy lifestyles.
2) Establishment of healthy spaces to accommodate for physical activities among targeted age groups under the Physical Activity Promotion Plan. These spaces include schools (targeting children), universities (targeting teenagers), workplaces and businesses (targeting working adults), temples and senior citizen’s associations (targeting elderly people), and communities and health service centers (targeting all age groups).
3) The development of cities and communities that are conducive to walking (walkable cities) and bicycling (cyclable cities).
4) Creation of knowledge capital at all levels to create model campaigns for increasing physical activities while decreasing sedentary lifestyles and lowering risks of obesity.
5) Cooperation is being sought to maximize benefits and impact for the upcoming International Congress on Physical Activity, 2016.
6) Emphasize the importance of family and infant development centers and schools in their roles as proponents for a healthy lifestyle. As well as, emphasize the significance of the media, health, and spirituality as channels to increase physical activity. Work implementation areas are being selected in accordance with ThaiHealth’s goals.