8% of adolescents engage in 1 hour of physical activity per day

8 November 2023

In Italy, only 8.2% of adolescents (Source: FOCE) follow the daily physical activity recommended by the WHO, while 18.2% are overweight and 4.4% obese (Source: HBSC 2022). After the pandemic, the lifestyles of young people have deteriorated significantly compared to the pre-emergency period. Before the health crisis, 16.6% of 11, 13 and 15-year-old adolescents were overweight and 3.2% obese, with a physical activity rate of 10%. The worrying data also affect the older population, affecting 27% of 18-24 year olds, 54% of the over-50s and even 59% of 65-74 year olds. Lifestyles have also worsened with age: 30% of adults are completely sedentary and 24% smoke.

The data are alarming. This is why the Federazione degli oncologi, cardiologi ed ematologi (FOCE) felt the need to launch, together with the Ministry of Sport and Coni, the new edition of ‘Coach Allied to Health’ to promote healthy lifestyles, a project aimed at adolescents, but structured to reach all citizens, including the over-65s. The project, the first in the world to sensitise coaches in adolescent health education, was presented on 4 October in Rome, at the Coni headquarters. “Allenatore alleato di salute” is a major national campaign to make the entire population understand the importance of physical activity and make sport one of the elements that accompany the everyday life of citizens.

"Prevention also passes through the creation of a new health culture and it is important to start with young people. The sustainability of the health system passes significantly through primary prevention, and awareness-raising campaigns in this direction are an indispensable investment' - Rocco Bellantone, extraordinary commissioner of the Istituto Superiore di Sanità

The project promotes healthy lifestyles through five brochures on physical activity, smoking, diet, alcohol and mental health and a social campaign. All this alongside a strong incentive to follow a healthy diet, to say no to smoking and alcohol abuse. The combination of these actions can have a major impact on the incidence of serious diseases, such as cancer and cardiovascular disease.

The challenge is to fight and defeat unhealthy lifestyles, and the world of sport must set a good example because

"It has been proven by numerous scientific studies that sport exerts preventive and therapeutic effects and can be compared to a drug that, when properly administered, prevents diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases and prevents their development," Giovanni Malagò, President of CONI

Massimiliano Allegri, Juventus coach, is one of the project’s testimonials and ambassadors, reminding us how we should train every day to preserve our psychophysical well-being.

'Through this project we want to foster the growth of tomorrow's athletes. We have to be champions also in life, taking care of our health' - Massimiliano Allegri, Juventus coach

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