COVID-19 showed us how important sports and physical activities are — WHO

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  • COVID-19 crisis showed how important sports and physical activities are, the World Health Organization said
  • The WHO and the International Olympic Committee will work together to promote health through sports and physical activities
  • Such partnership was made after it was seen that the pandemic is particularly affecting people with noncommunicable diseases

The COVID-19 crisis showed how important sports and physical activities are, the World Health Organization (WHO) said, noting that the pandemic is particularly affecting people with noncommunicable diseases (NCDs).

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With this, the health organization inked an agreement with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), aiming to promote health through sports and physical activity.

“The WHO works not only to respond to disease but also to help people realize their healthiest lives and this partnership will do exactly that. Physical activity is one of the keys to good health and well-being,” WHO Director-General Tedros Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stressed.

Promoting sports and physical activities, according to the WHO, is just timely as we can now seen how the current COVID-19 pandemic has beem affecting people with NCDs.

“Over the last few months in the current crisis, we have all seen how important sports and physical activity are for physical and mental health. Sports can save lives,” noted IOC President Thomas Bach. “The IOC calls on the governments of the world to include sports in their post-crisis support programs because of the important role of sport in the prevention of NCDs, but also of communicable diseases.”

To note, physical activity helps lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of hypertension, coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and various types of cancer.

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Globally, the WHO estimates that one in four adults is not active enough and more than 80 percent of the world’s adolescent population is insufficiently physically active.

The new partnership, it was noted, will bring together the sports and health sectors at international, regional, and national levels to reach global goal of increasing physical activity by 15 percent, as set out in the Global Action Plan on Physical Activity.

Meanwhile, oher areas of collaboration include working with host countries to ensure the health of athletes, supporters and workers at the games as well as addressing NCD risk factors, including water quality and air pollution. The two institutions will also work to ensure that the games leave a healthy legacy in host countries through enhanced awareness of the value of sport and physical activity.

In additition, the two organizations also intend to promote grassroots and community sports programs that have a further reach within the general public, particularly among girls, older people, and people living with disability who may find it harder to keep active and healthy.