The world has stopped moving.
Just a few generations ago, physical activity was an integral part of daily life. In the name of progress, we’ve now chipped away at it so thoroughly that physical inactivity actually seems normal.
In less than two generations, physical activity has dropped by 20% in the U.K. and 32% in the U.S. In China, the drop is 45% in less than one generation. Vehicles, machines and technology now do our moving for us. What we do in our leisure time doesn’t come close to making up for what we’ve lost.
“By the end of this decade, most Americans will exert only slightly more energy per week than if they slept 24 hours a day.”
Physical inactivity has become normal and the change is too abrupt not to expect severe consequences.
This year, 5.3 million deaths will be attributed to physical inactivity. Smoking is responsible for 5 million deaths per year.
Costs are Unacceptable
The cost of physical inactivity drains economies. By 2030, the direct costs alone in China and India will each increase by more than 450 percent. To put these increases in context, the 2030 annual direct costs are expected to be more than China’s current health care budget, and nearly four times what India currently spends on secondary education in a year.
The Human Costs are Unforgivable
Today’s kids are dropping out of sport and play early. Between ages 9 and 15, American and European kids’ activity levels drop by 50-75 percent. In China, 92 percent of kids get no physical activity outside of school.
These inactive kids score up to 40 percent lower on achievement tests than their active friends. Today, sports, physical activity and physical education are seen as optional or extra-curricular, rather than the powerful investments that they are.
Today’s 10 year-olds are the first generation expected to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents.
The science is clear. Physical activity does more than create good health. It contributes to leadership, productivity and innovation. It lowers depression and crime, increases education and income levels, and generates return to businesses. It unleashes human potential, and this is what drives economies forward.
Focusing on kids before the age of 10 could change the trajectory for the next generation.
It’s Time for Action
No one can fix this alone. We must align strategies & combine resources. The science is clear. The debate is over. Urgent priority must be given to dramatically increase the world’s commitment to physical activity.
DESIGNED TO MOVE offers consensus on the path forward – a single vision: Future generations running, jumping and kicking to reach their greatest potential. A new normal.
Create early positive experiences for children
If kids are playing hard and having fun, they’ll come back for more. One day, they’ll have hard-playing kids of their own, and the negative cycle will be broken.
Integrate physical activity into everyday life
Our world doesn’t make physical activity very easy. Everything around us is designed for sedentary convenience. It’s time to shake things up.
learn more at: designedtomove.org