Think Global, Act Local

With both climate change and global obesity on the rise, it is important that we are able to tackle both. There are ways we can tackle both at the same time through sustainable exercise. This article looks at the concerns put forward by Global Organisations, and how we can take action to tackle these global challenges in our local area.

World Health Organisation

The World Health Organisation (WHO) states that insufficient physical activity is one of the leading risk factors for death worldwide. Globally 1 in 4 adults is not active enough. More than 80% of the world’s adolescent population is insufficiently physically active. WHO aims to reduce insufficient physical activity by 10% by 2025.

By exercising sustainably, we can help to make our society a healthier one, by reducing the number of people who are not doing sufficient physical exercise. In the process, we will increase the amount of healthy role models there are for the next generations which will help to sustain these positive changes. By exercising sustainably, we will also contribute to achieving some of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, listed below.

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

Sustainable exercise will help to achieve some of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, such as:

Goal 3- Good Health and Well being

  • There are many health benefits to exercising
  • People who exercise are more likely to adopt a healthy diet, which includes the consumption of more fruits, vegetables and grains which can often be locally sourced

Goal 11 – Sustainable Cities and Communities

  • By exercising together, sustainable communities will be created
  • Through active travel, cities will become more sustainable due to a decrease in transport pollution

Goal 12- Responsible consumption and production

  • Sustainable exercise will decrease consumption of energy, for example energy to power vehicles/ exercise machines.
  • It is also likely that people drive to the gym- exercising outdoors may lead to a reduction in the amount of energy used for transport and gym equipment
  • Regular exercise will reduce the consumption of materials and energy needed to treat illnesses that could have been prevented by regularly exercise

Goal 13- Climate action

  • By actively choosing sustainable exercise, action is taking place to combat climate change

How to Think Globally and Act Locally

Thinking globally is much easier than you may expect. With climate change and global physical inactivity being relevant issues, any actions you take to exercise sustainably, whether it is big or small, will contribute to global efforts to tackling these issues.

This means even walking to a local shop will not only reduce the greenhouse gases that would have been emitted from your car but also, you will be increasing your physical activity. If these small changes are done on a regular basis, there will be a big impact on our environment and health globally.