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Lancet. 2016 Sep 24;388(10051):1337-48. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(16)30728-0. Epub 2016 Jul 28.

Scaling up physical activity interventions worldwide: stepping up to larger and smarter approaches to get people moving.

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Prevention Research Center in St Louis, Brown School, Washington University in St Louis, St Louis, MO, USA; Physical Education Graduate Program, Federal University of Paran√°, Curitiba, Brazil. Electronic address:
Michael and Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, School of Public Health-Austin Regional Campus, Austin, TX, USA; Center for Nutrition and Health Research, National Institute of Public Health of Mexico, Cuernavaca, Mexico.
MRC Epidemiology Unit and UKCRC Centre for Diet and Activity Research (CEDAR), University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine, Cambridge Biomedical Campus, Cambridge, UK.
Division of Exercise Science and Sports Medicine, Department of Human Biology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa.
Indian Institute of Public Health and Public Health Foundation of India, Delhi, India.
Prevention Research Center in St Louis, Brown School, Washington University in St Louis, St Louis, MO, USA; Division of Public Health Sciences and Alvin J Siteman Cancer Center, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, MO, USA.


The global pandemic of physical inactivity requires a multisectoral, multidisciplinary public-health response. Scaling up interventions that are capable of increasing levels of physical activity in populations across the varying cultural, geographic, social, and economic contexts worldwide is challenging, but feasible. In this paper, we review the factors that could help to achieve this. We use a mixed-methods approach to comprehensively examine these factors, drawing on the best available evidence from both evidence-to-practice and practice-to-evidence methods. Policies to support active living across society are needed, particularly outside the health-care sector, as demonstrated by some of the successful examples of scale up identified in this paper. Researchers, research funders, and practitioners and policymakers in culture, education, health, leisure, planning, and transport, and civil society as a whole, all have a role. We should embrace the challenge of taking action to a higher level, aligning physical activity and health objectives with broader social, environmental, and sustainable development goals.

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