We were thrilled to welcome Dr Fiona Bull, Head of Physical Activity at the World Health Organisation, to Scotland for our 2023 Expert Lecture.
Chaired by Professor Nanette Mutrie, Dr Bull captivated our audience presenting international evidence for why it’s time to step up and get the world walking.
Having led the development of the WHO Global Action Plan on Physical Activity 2018-2030, the new Global guidelines on physical activity and sedentary behaviours 2020 and the recent 1st Global Status Report on Physical Activity 2022, Dr Bull shared significant insight in making the case for walking.
From sharing the alarming health impact of physical inactivity being between 3.2 – 5.1 million deaths a year, to discussing the price tag for not acting on physical inactivity estimated at US$27 billion per year, Dr Bull relayed to the audience that walking is the best way to increase physical activity both in Scotland and globally. She simply stated: “Walking saves lives.”
Every move counts
Dr Bull highlighted several ways where Scotland is making positive progress towards becoming a walking nation, but argued work is still to be done particularly around reducing inequalities and creating walking environments and opportunities for everyone to enjoy a healthy and active life.
She offered constructive solutions for our audience to take away and implement to increase walking in Scotland. Including:
- Advocate – promote the value of walking
- Strengthen partnerships and engage local communities
- Support actions with practical tools and training in all relevant workforce and communities
- Build and use good data systems
Following the talk, Dr Bull was joined by transport, health and physical activity experts on our panel discussion. Representatives from Active Scotland, Public Health Scotland and Transport Scotland discussed their priorities and support for walking, alongside challenges faced.
With the buzz in the room it was evident that it's an exciting time for the future of Scotland. Through strong partnership working, advocacy and the facilitation of programmes and campaigns, together we will get Scotland walking.
You can watch the lecture and panel discussion in full here.