What is it about?

The Global Action Plan on Physical Activity (GAPPA) set a global target to reduce physical inactivity by 15% by 2030, stating “all stakeholders should actively promote and advocate for the implementation of the policy actions according to country contexts and priorities". But what challenges do stakeholders face to advocate for GAPPA? What supports would be helpful? Our research surveyed physical activity stakeholders employed in the health, education, sport, transport and city planning professions, from low, middle and high income countries.

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Why is it important?

Stakeholders thought the GAPPA is important, that it would be good to advocate, and that they feel a need and want to advocate for its implementation. However, many felt their country was not engaged with advocating for the implementation of the GAPPA, showing potential challenges for localized implementation. A high proportion of participants felt they do not (1) know how; (2) have the time available; and/or; (3) have the necessary materials or supports — to effectively advocate for implementation of the GAPPA in their country. This highlights the need for further advocacy tools, resources, and training opportunities to aid key stakeholders with who, what, and how to advocate for the GAPPA and achieve the best outcomes.


Since we started this project, a number of very useful tools have been released by the World Health Organization to support professionals to advocate for physical activity. These include toolkits, the Fair Play Advocacy Brief and Global Status Report on Physical Activity (2022). The Global Status Report highlighted the need to advocate for: 1. Strengthen whole-of-government ownership and political LEADERSHIP 2. INTEGRATE physical activity into relevant policies and support policy implementation with practical TOOLSand guidance 3. Strengthen PARTNERSHIPS, engage communities and build capacity in people 4. Reinforce DATA systems, monitoring, and knowledge translation 5. Secure sustainable FUNDING and align with national policy commitments

Dr Matthew Mclaughlin
University of Western Australia

It was a pleasure to collaborate with others across the globe to understand the current challenges and supports required for effective advocacy of the GAPPA. This work highlights that researchers, practitioners and policy makers feel it is important to implement the GAPPA but often lack the knowledge and resources to do this effectively. There is a need to support those who play a role in physical activity promotion with advocating for the implementation of the GAPPA. Some supports are already available and need to be better disseminated across different regions and sectors of work. This paper also provides other suggested supports that can help overcome common challenges identified. For me this work shows the power of working in collaboration to identify potential solutions for an issue. The insight gained and suggested actions can help to inform future supports to aid relevant stakeholders with effective advocacy for implementation of the GAPPA.

Dr Joey Murphy
University of Bristol

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Advocating for Implementation of the Global Action Plan on Physical Activity: Challenges and Support Requirements, Journal of Physical Activity and Health, January 2022, Human Kinetics,
DOI: 10.1123/jpah.2022-0357.
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