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A report recently published in The Lancet describes physical inactivity as a "pandemic" and calls for steps to be taken worldwide. The paper, published in July, points out that physical inactivity is the fourth leading cause of mortality across the globe, responsible for 5.3 million deaths, as many as smoking.
The authors of “The pandemic of physical inactivity: global action for public health” recommend “creative thinking coupled with development of partnerships for action” in order to help physical activity and healthy ageing to become a public priority. Among other recommendations, medical researchers urge ministries and policy-makers to:
Individuals and organisations in civil society are also asked to “seek ways to become and remain physically active at levels recommended for the preservation and promotion of health and wellbeing”.
The promotion of physical activity for older people is one of the main goals of the European Year 2012. Stakeholders at all levels are being encouraged by the European Commission to develop and share innovative solutions, policies and long-term strategies to tackle the challenges of an ageing population and enable EU citizens to lead healthy, active and independent lives while becoming old.