Early Career Professionals’ (Researchers, Practitioners, and Policymakers) Role in Advocating, Disseminating, and Implementing the Global Action Plan on Physical Activity: ISPAH Early Career Network View

  • Artur Direito, Joseph J. Murphy, Matthew Mclaughlin, Jacqueline Mair, Kelly Mackenzie, Masamitsu Kamada, Rachel Sutherland, Shannon Montgomery, Trevor Shilton, _ _
  • Journal of Physical Activity and Health, January 2019, Human Kinetics
  • DOI: 10.1123/jpah.2019-0450

Your role in advocating for and implementing the Global Action Plan on Physical Activity

Photo by Jos Zwaan on Unsplash

Photo by Jos Zwaan on Unsplash

What is it about?

In 2018, the World Health Organization launched the first Global Action Plan on Physical Activity (GAPPA) 2018-2030. It is a major milestone for combatting the global burden of insufficient physical activity. Our article discusses the role early career researchers, practitioners and policy makers have in supporting the GAPPA in 4 key ways: 1) Generating evidence 2) Disseminating key messages and evidence 3) Implementing the evidence-based actions proposed 4) Contributing to advocacy for robust national action plans on physical activity.

Why is it important?

Physical inactivity is a leading cause of disease and early death globally, and costs billions of dollars to our economy. The World Health Organization is leading action to change this. In order for the Global Action Plan on Physical Activity (GAPPA) to have impact and for us to achieve the target 15% relative reduction in physical inactivity by 2030, it needs to be used! Our article is a step towards helping achieve this.


Matthew Mclaughlin
University of Newcastle and Hunter New England Population Health

We’ve all got a role in GAPPA, what’s yours? Hopefully our commentary gets you thinking.

Dr Rachel Sutherland
University of Newcastle

We all have a role to play in making the world more physically active! Our commentary makes it easy for Early Career Professionals to identify where they can make a difference and support the GAPPA.

Artur Direito
National University of Singapore

Distance and inertia sometimes strike me when facing global bold plans like the GAPPA. I hope our commentary is useful to everyone looking to find how we can act now to reduce physical inactivity.

Dr. Joseph J Murphy
University of Limerick

As an early career researcher, I think the advice given for supporting the GAPPA is applicable but more importantly usable. One aspect I enjoy about this commentary are the links it displays between the early career professionals working in different sectors.

Dr Jacqueline Louise Mair
Singapore-ETH Centre

As early career professionals, I think we can sometimes feel quite far removed from policy level agendas and that we have little opportunity to make big impacts. This article challenges that! It encourages early career academics and professionals to consider ways in which they can advocate for physical activity, contribute to the WHO GAPPA, and make a difference to population physical activity and health, no matter how small.

Masamitsu Kamada
Harvard University

Let’s make the world more active one by one, step by step! Don’t know what to start? I hope you would find something you can do in this paper.

Dr Shannon Chloe Montgomery
Queen's University Belfast

This commentary provides a useful framework for Early Career Professionals interested in incorporating the GAPPA into their work, outlining key areas of focus and highlighting implementation opportunities.

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The following have contributed to this page: Matthew Mclaughlin, Dr Rachel Sutherland, Artur Direito, Dr. Joseph J Murphy, Dr Jacqueline Louise Mair, Masamitsu Kamada, Dr Shannon Chloe Montgomery, and Kelly Mackenzie