New WHO study reveals that an increasing number of people are not achieving sufficient levels of physical activity

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently conducted an assessment of physical inactivity at the global, regional and country levels.  Regular physical activity enhances both mental and physical health for people of all ages, and is also a key behavioural factor that can contribute to preventing and managing noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) such as heart disease and diabetes.

In the World Health Assembly, countries agreed to aim for, and track progress toward, a global target of a 15% relative reduction in insufficient physical activity by 2030. Despite this, global physical inactivity levels have changed little over the past 15 years, highlighting gaps in policy implementation. Addressing these gaps is essential for improving health outcomes, and tackling the global rise of NCDs.

The results of this assessment showed that globally, 31% of adults were not meeting WHO-recommended levels of physical activity in 2022. This represents approximately one third of adults, equating to 1.8 bn adults. Globally, there was an increase of five percentage points in levels of physical inactivity between 2010 and 2022 which reveals that countries are off track to meet the 15% relative reduction target by 2030. More women (34%) than men (29%) were not achieving sufficient amounts of physical activity. In the European Region, 25% of adults fell short of global recommendations. Levels of physical inactivity were seen to increase sharply among adults aged 60 years and over. For example, within the European Region, the age group of 18-39 had a prevalence of approximately 22% while the age group of >60 had a prevalence of approximately 38%.

Looking at the country level of the four DigiCare4You implementation countries – Albania, Bulgaria, Greece and Spain – all countries but Spain are following the same trend of increasing prevalence of insufficient physical activity among adults. Between 2010 and 2022 prevalence increased by 3.1 points in Albania, 7.2 points in Bulgaria, 3.2 points in Greece and decreased by 10.8 points in Spain. All countries followed the global trend of women having a higher prevalence of physical inactivity except for Bulgaria where prevalence in 2022 was nearly equal between men and women.

Despite global progress towards the 2030 target being off track, some regions are showing good progress. High-income western countries, are close to being on track while individually 12 western European countries are on track.

The key findings of the assessment reveal that increased government and stakeholder commitment and investment are required to increase physical activity globally. DigiCare4You is a holistic solution which aims to prevent and manage type 2 diabetes (T2D) and hypertension (HTN). Physical activity is a core component of this solution. Investing in comprehensive solutions such as DigiCare4You, which addresses more than just NCD management, is vital for tackling insufficient physical activity levels.



  • Strain, T. et al., 2024. National, regional, and global trends in insufficient physical activity among adults from 2000 to 2022: a pooled analysis of 507 population-based surveys with 5.7 million participants. The Lancet Global Health .
  • World Health Organization , 2024 . Global levels of physical inactivity in adults: off track for 2030 , Geneva : World Health Organization .


Read the full study here:

Read the WHO report summarising the key findings and conclusions here:

Read the DigiCare4You infographic on physical activity here: