Ministry of Health and Sport New Zealand welcome WHO physical activity plan

News article

06 June 2018

The Ministry of Health and Sport New Zealand welcome the release of the Global Action Plan on Physical Activity developed by the World Health Organization (WHO), with four strategic directions to help achieve a 15 percent increase in the number of regularly physically active people worldwide by 2030. Physical activity improves people’s health and wellbeing by enabling them to live well, stay well and get well.

The Global Action Plan’s four strategic directions - creating active societies, environments, lives and systems - complement work underway between the Ministry and Sport New Zealand to develop a framework for increasing New Zealanders’ levels of physical activities.

Despite its importance, the positive effects of physical activity are often overlooked and underestimated. Only around half of New Zealand adults meet the Ministry's Physical Activity Guidelines which recommend 150 minutes of physical activity each week. The Global Action Plan on Physical Activity and the framework being developed by the Ministry and Sport New Zealand are expected to address this by increasing New Zealanders’ physical activity levels.


Regular physical activity, limited sedentary behaviour and quality sleep have significant health benefits for people of all ages. Physically active people are at lower risk of developing heart and lung conditions, stroke, weight issues, type-2 diabetes and certain cancers.

Physical activity can also increase mental wellbeing by reducing the risk of stress, depression, anxiety and dementia. It’s important that children and young people are regularly physically active too as this sets them up for a healthy life and helps them excel at their studies. Physical activity makes children more engaged in the classroom, stay enrolled in school longer and achieve better results.

Find out more about the Global Action Plan on Physical Activity on the WHO website.

Read Minister Clark’s joint media release on the Beehive website: New WHO physical activity plan to help people around the world get out and active.

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