Eight Investments that Work for Physical Activity

Karen Milton*, Nick Cavill, Charlie Foster, James Nobles, Jasper Schipperjin, et al.

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

75 Citations (Scopus)
87 Downloads (Pure)


Background: The International Society for Physical Activity and Health (ISPAH) is a leading global organisation working to advance research, policy and practice to promote physical activity. Given the expanding evidence base on interventions to promote physical activity, it was timely to review and update a major ISPAH advocacy document - Investments that Work for Physical Activity (2011).

Methods: Eight investment areas were agreed through consensus. Literature reviews were conducted to identify key evidence that would be relevant to policymakers in each sector or setting.

Results: The eight investment areas were: whole-of-school programmes; active transport; active urban design; health care; public education; sport and recreation; workplaces; and community-wide programmes. Evidence suggests that the largest benefit for population health will be achieved by combining these investments and implementing a systems-based approach.

Conclusions: Establishing consensus on ‘what works’ to change physical activity behaviour is a cornerstone of successful advocacy, as is having appropriate resources to communicate key messages to a wide range of stakeholders. ISPAH has created a range of resources related to the eight investments described in this paper. These are available in the ‘advocacy toolkit’ on the ISPAH website (www.ispah.org/resources).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)625-630
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Physical Activity and Health
Issue number6
Early online date14 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - 14 May 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Human Kinetics, Inc.


  • public health
  • health promotion
  • interventions
  • policy
  • public health practice


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