The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has recently unveiled a new global initiative aimed at inspiring and empowering individuals worldwide to engage in physical activity on a daily basis. Dubbed “Let’s Move,” this initiative is spearheaded by Olympians and developed in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO).
It will commence on Olympic Day, June 23, with an invitation to prioritize movement as a means of promoting better health.
Despite the world’s rapid pace of development, people are becoming increasingly sedentary. Research indicates that one in four adults and over 80% of young people fail to meet the recommended minimum activity levels necessary for optimal health (WHO, 2022). A lack of time is one of the most frequently cited reasons for failing to achieve this objective. However, even just 30 minutes of daily movement can have a significant impact on one’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
The Let’s Move initiative seeks to address this issue by encouraging individuals to prioritize physical activity in their daily routines. By collaborating with the WHO and leveraging the expertise of Olympians, this initiative aims to inspire individuals to take charge of their health and well-being. Let’s Move is a call to action for individuals worldwide to prioritize movement and embrace a healthier lifestyle.
Regular physical activity can help prevent or manage certain diseases, like heart disease, stroke, diabetes and some types of cancers. It also helps to prevent hypertension, and it reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety. Being active also ensures healthy growth and development in young people and staying healthy in later life.
On 23 June, the Olympic Movement will encourage and support people around the world to make this time in their daily lives to move in any way, anywhere. This includes a digital invitation from Olympians Allyson Felix, Pau Gasol, PV Sindhu, Yusra Mardini– to name a few of the athletes involved – to schedule 30 minutes to move this day with them and to join the Let’s Move Olympic Day digital workout from anywhere in the world, with the ambition of turning this into a daily habit.
IOC President Thomas Bach said, “On Olympic Day, we celebrate the Olympic Movement’s mission to make the world a better place through sport. When we do sport, it keeps our mind and body strong and healthy. When we do sport, it inspires us to always give it our best and it makes us dream, it spreads joy and it brings us together. This year, together with the WHO, we are highlighting the positive impacts sport has on both physical and mental health. We want to inspire the world to move more every day. Sport and physical activity are the low-cost, high-impact tool for healthy bodies and healthy minds and resilient communities.”
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, said, “The Olympic Movement has a unique ability to harness the power of increased physical activity through sport for improving public health. Olympians are more than athletes: they are role models for people to enjoy sport and the benefits of physical activity. The Let’s Move initiative, supported by the WHO, combines the power of the Olympics and WHO’s advice on physical activity to help inspire and motivate people to move more for better health.”
Past and future Olympic hosts will also take part in the initiative by encouraging people to exercise in their local communities. Paris 2024 (along with the French Ministry of National Education and Youth and the Ministry of Sport and the Olympic and Paralympic Games) has already introduced 30 minutes of physical activity as part of the school curriculum over the past 12 months, in recognition of the multitude of mental and physical health benefits of daily exercise.
Over 131 mass participation events and digital activations will take place in all corners of the world, being organised by the National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and the wider Olympic Movement, providing an opportunity for everyone to move together on Olympic Day.