The Global Observatory for Physical Activity (GoPA!) was launched in response to the physical inactivity pandemic. The aim of this article is to present current information about surveillance, policy, and research on physical activity (PA) and health worldwide.
Information was collected for 217 countries. For 139 of these nations we identified a contact who confirmed information’s accuracy and completeness. Associations were calculated among surveillance, policy and research categories.
Of the 139 countries, 90.6% reported having completed 1 or more PA survey, but less than one-third had 3 or more. 106 included PA on a national plan, but only one-quarter of these were PA-specific. At least 1 peer reviewed publication was identified for 63.3% of the countries. Positive associations (P < .001) were found between research and policy (ρ = 0.35), research and surveillance (ρ = 0.41), and surveillance and policy (ρ = 0.31). Countries with a standalone plan were more likely to have surveillance. Countries with more research were more likely to have a standalone plan and surveillance.
Surveillance, policy, and research indicators were positively correlated, suggesting that action at multiple levels tends to stimulate progress in other areas. Efforts to expand PA-related surveillance, policy, and research in lower income countries are needed.