Establishing robust policies to promote physical activity in primary healthcare

The 4th report in our Building Momentum series.

Building Momentum 4 report coverThe 4th Building Momentum report sets out the emerging evidence for the benefits of promoting physical activity in primary healthcare, and explains why designing and enacting such policies is good for individual health and economies.

This is the first report of its kind, offering a global policy perspective on developments and progress, as well as guidance on foundational policy processes and components.

Download the report (4MB, 78 pages)

Download the report summary (400KB, 4 pages)

The report draws strongly on the experience of developing and implementing physical activity promotion policy from experts from several countries. Supplementary annexes provide additional information to support the main report:

  • Annex 1 provides detailed snapshots of the policy state of play in World Cancer Research Fund International’s network countries: the Netherlands, the US and the UK (England, Scotland and Wales).
  • Annex 2 provides an overview of international policy recommendations.
  • Annex 3 covers a broad typology of ways in which policy may be implemented in practice.

On the blog

Kendra Chow, our Policy and Public Affairs Manager, explores how policy can help promote physical activity in primary healthcare.


You can now watch the launch webinar for this report, with insights from:

  • Dr Kate Allen (World Cancer Research Fund International)
  • Kendra Chow (World Cancer Research Fund International)
  • Iréne Nilsson Carlsson (Senior Public Health Adviser, National Board of Health and Welfare, Sweden)
  • Dr William Bird (GP, CEO and Founder of Intelligent Health, UK)

Physical activity plays a vital role in promoting and maintaining good physical and mental health, but too many individuals are not meeting recommendations. Policies that support physical activity promotion within primary healthcare settings are a key tenet of a comprehensive, systems-wide approach to increase physical activity, and help prevent and manage many non-communicable diseases, including cancers.

If we want it to work within healthcare, then we need to look beyond healthcare to what the wider system is… You need the infrastructure within the healthcare system to support that to happen, … partnerships working with those in key positions in the communities, …[and] in the public sector — Flora Jackson, Public Health Scotland

More in this series

> Lessons on implementing robust restrictions of food and non-alcoholic beverage marketing to children

> Lessons on implementing a robust front-of-pack food label

> Lessons on implementing a robust sugar sweetened beverage tax