Sport for Health Conference kicks off at World Innovation Summit for Health – World Health Organization

On the cusp of the FIFA World Cup, Qatar 2022TM, partners at the World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) in Qatar are hosting a Sport for Health Conference to highlight how football and other sport can boost physical activity and address serious global public health concerns. 

The Sport for Health Conference aims to strengthen global efforts to decrease noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and promote positive mental health and well-being. NCDs and mental health conditions cause considerable suffering and are major burdens on health systems and communities globally, with one person under 70 years dying every two seconds from an NCD.

“Sport, such as football, can make a major contribution to improving public health by engaging people in regular, safe and social physical activity in their local communities which is one of the key recommendations outlined in the WHO Global Action Plan on Physical Activity” said Dr Fiona Bull, Head of the Physical Activity Unit at WHO

The three-day conference will feature global sport and health experts, scientists and policy-makers from the Commonwealth Secretariat, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Together, they will examine how the popularity of sport can be leveraged to benefit health and increase participation in sports, and how mega sports events can leave more sustainable legacies which strengthen community participation in physical activity into the future.

Regular physical activity and sports helps prevent and treat NCDs, and can also improve mental health and well-being. NCDs kill 41 million people each year, equivalent to 74% of all deaths globally. Physical inactivity increases the risk of dying from an NCD. Today, one in four adults and four in five adolescents globally are not active enough and there has been little change in the average levels of physical activity over the last 15 years.

“Qatar, like so many countries around the world, has seen a rise in noncommunicable diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease in recent decades,” said Sheikh Dr Mohamed Bin Hamad Al-Thani, Director of Public Health Department at the Ministry of Public Health, Qatar.

“In Qatar, we understand the role that sport, physical activity and healthy lifestyles can have in halting this trend and our National Health Strategy and Public Health Strategy both place great priority on promoting the benefits of physical and healthy lifestyles to our population as a key approach to combatting noncommunicable diseases.” 

Keynote speakers at the Sport for Health conference include: Nasser A. Al-Khori, Executive Director, Generation Amazing Foundation, who will …….


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