Adult physical inactivity levels reach all-time high
New data released today (June 26, 2024) by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on rising levels of physical inactivity is galvanising sporting goods and fitness giants to team up to address this alarming trend.

  • New data reveals that 31% of adults are inactive and are not meeting the recommended levels of physical activity (just 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week)
  • If this trend in inactivity continues, global levels of physical inactivity are projected to rise to 35% by 2030 (from 26% in 2010)
  • There is a widening gap in participation based on age and gender; women are less active than men by at least 5 percentage points and after 60 years of age physical inactivity rises rapidly
  • New data on adolescents is due later this year, but we already know 81% are not doing enough physical activity to maintain good health
  • The economic cost of treating health conditions that are preventable by engaging in a more active lifestyle will exceed US$300 billion by 2030

The biggest sporting goods companies in the world including adidas, Amer Sports, ANTA, arena, ASICS, Cycle Europe, Decathlon, Li-Ning, New Balance, Nike, On, Orbea, Pentland Brands, Puma, Restube, Shimano, SHRED., Specialized, SRAM, Tecnica Group, Under Armour, Wearable Technologies and Yonex have come together as members of the World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry (WFSGI) to support this call for urgent action.

Joining these companies in this call to action are national sporting goods federations from Austria, Brazil, Germany, Japan, Norway, Spain, UK, USA, Cycling Industries Europe, FESI Europe, and ISPO along with Retail and Health and Fitness Federations, FEDAS Europe, EuropeActive, Health & Fitness Association and ICSSPE.

For a full list of Brand CEOs and Executive quotes see the appendix below.

Teaming up to make a difference
WFSGI Chair Andy Rubin says, “Tackling the global inactivity crisis requires teamwork. The new adult inactivity data shows that not enough is being done to reverse inactivity.  That’s why, despite being competitors in business, we are coming together to share our expertise on consumer behaviour and engaging people in community sports and physical activity. We are all in this business to help people be more active and develop a lifelong passion for sport and activity and the benefits that brings.”

Jérôme Pero, FESI Secretary General added:
The new WHO data on physical inactivity is a stark reminder of the urgent public health challenge we face, particularly in Europe. We continue to see significant disparities in physical activity levels, particularly among women who are far less likely to engage in regular exercise compared to men. This growing inactivity trend demands a coordinated response from all sectors. At FESI, we are committed to leveraging our collective expertise to promote active lifestyles and ensure that everyone, regardless of gender, has the opportunity to benefit from physical activity. By working together, we can foster healthier communities across Europe and beyond.”

What are we up against? The price of inactivity
The new data showing rising levels of physical inactivity among populations worldwide is having direct implications for public health, contributing to the rise in obesity and non-communicable diseases (NCDs) which are chronic health conditions such as heart disease, cancer, respiratory disease and diabetes.

While global inactivity levels by adults was still estimated at 28%, the WHO had calculated the cost of physical inactivity to exceed US$ 300 billion based on estimates that by 2030 nearly 500 million more people are expected to develop health conditions that can be prevented by regular physical activity.

Physical inactivity levels in adolescents are above 80% and the full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on levels of physical activity amongst children is not yet known. Without urgent action to reverse this trend, there is a very real risk that children and young people, as they grow older, will become a major health and economic burden on society.

How the sporting goods and fitness industry can help tackle the physical inactivity crisis
The private sector sporting goods and fitness industries are making the following commitments which will be enabled through multi-stakeholder collaboration. The industries will:

  1. Raise awareness of the crisis because it is not getting sufficient government or media attention and therefore needs a stronger strategic and co-ordinated response from the private sector.
  2. Support people to lead more physically active lives by building on the industries’ expertise of marketing the power of sport and physical activity to the world and channelling its passion, creativity and energy into impactful interventions to reverse physical inactivity trends.
  3. Leverage the power of major sporting events to raise awareness of the importance of physical activity and deliver community-level initiatives targeting inactive people.
  4. Create partnerships within the business community and across sectors to co-create a new era of workplace health, active travel and physical activity initiatives encouraging employees to engage in active, healthy lifestyles.

The sporting goods and fitness industries are already working hard to tackle physical inactivity through targeted community-level interventions. However, we are calling for a more collaborative approach that will deliver greater impact more quickly.

We are united in our belief that physical activity has multiple benefits, for example the promotion of active travel has direct benefits for both health and protecting the planet. While it is also recognised that quality Physical Education in schools directly benefits young people’s mental health and academic achievement.

Collaborating to drive meaningful change
The sporting goods and fitness industries are committed to working together, alongside public sector policy makers and the WHO, to address global physical inactivity levels.  As a united voice, we fully support the WHO in its work to implement the Global Action Plan on Physical Activity (GAPPA). The new inactivity data reveals the world is off track to meet the WHO target of  a 15% relative reduction in the global prevalence of physical inactivity in adults and adolescents by 2030. 

The undersigned organisations represent the combined sporting goods, retail and health and fitness industries who together have a powerful platform and responsibility to galvanize the global sports industry to find solutions and implement them to help address the growing issue of physical inactivity.



  • adidas
  • Amer Sports
  • ANTA
  • arena
  • Cycle Europe
  • Decathlon
  • Li-Ning
  • New Balance
  • Nike
  • On
  • Orbea
  • Pentland Brands
  • Puma
  • Restube
  • Shimano
  • SHRED.
  • Specialized
  • SRAM
  • Tecnica Group
  • Under Armour
  • Wearable Technologies
  • Yonex

Sporting Goods Federations:

  • Apice (Brazil)
  • Afydad (Spain)
  • BSI (Germany)
  • Cycling Industries Europe
  • FESI (Europe)
  • ISPO
  • JASPO (Japan)
  • Norsk Sportsbransjeforening (Norway)
  • SFIA (USA)
  • SGIA (UK)
  • VSSO (Austria)

Retail Federation:

  • FEDAS (Federation of European sporting goods retail associations)

Health and Fitness Federations:

  • EuropeActive
  • Health and Fitness Association
  • International Council of Sport Science and Physical Education (ICSSPE/CIEPSS)

Appendix: Supporting quotes from signatories
adidas CEO, Björn Gulden – “We all should make sure that as many people as possible around the world can enjoy sports. That’s why, despite being competitors in business, we are teaming up to share our expertise and engage people in community sports and physical activity. Together, we can help people to be more active and develop a healthy lifestyle.”
Amer Sports COO, Michael Sorensen – “Our purpose is to elevate the world through sport by inspiring people to lead better, healthier lives. We firmly believe that engaging in physical activity improves the quality of life for everyone, whether it’s competitive trail running, skiing with your family, or simply taking walks to clear your mind after work. Through our global platform, we can inspire people of all ages and abilities to access and discover the joy of sport.”
ANTA Group VP, Christina Li – “Sports are immensely important for human physical and mental well-being. We believe that regular exercise not only brings joy but also instills sports spirit such as striving for victory, perseverance, fair competition, solidarity, and cooperation. We are deeply concerned about the rising levels of physical inactivity and are committed to being part of the solution. In response to the World Health Organization’s initiative to encourage more physical activity, we are dedicated to empowering sports enthusiasts through continuous scientific and technological innovation. By providing the best products and fostering exchange and communication with global consumers, we aim to inspire more people to embrace a lifelong commitment to sports. Through our efforts, we strive to fulfill our corporate mission: to bring the transcendent spirit of sports into everyone’s life. Let us join hands to promote the allure of sports worldwide, making it a healthy and uplifting way of life for individuals seeking self-improvement.”
arena CEO, Peter Graschi – “Together with other sports companies, we commit to ensure that the message of raising people’s awareness of sport becomes more and more widespread.  At arena our everyday activity is driven by the purpose to improve the quality of life for all by promoting and enabling an active lifestyle in and by the water. We know from many studies that swimming helps on several levels. It is great for the body as well as the mind and is a skill that crosses over into other activities. Swimming is a fantastic way to get active and enjoy the many health and wellness benefits associated with exercising, regardless of your age, ability, or fitness levels. That is why we support since many years Swimming federations and clubs: we partner with them from initiatives aimed at attracting more and more people to swimming to the support of the competitive team.”
ASICS CEO, Yasuhito Hirota “At ASICS, we’ve always believed in the positive impact of movement, not just on the body, but also on the mind. We remain committed to supporting more people to move and experience the positive mental benefits of movement. We have done extensive research on the positive impact of movement, and will look to continue to share the insights to support people to lead more physical active lives. Together, we can help people to be more active and achieve ‘a Sound Mind in a Sound Body’.”
Cycle Europe CEO, Tony Grimaldi – The trend of decreasing physical activity is deeply concerning and makes the everyday movement offered by cycling increasingly important. E-cycling, which matches the pace of brisk walking, makes cycling accessible to more people. To unleash the potential of cycling, politicians and authorities need to prioritize safe high-capacity cycling infrastructure and design cities for more active mobility.”
Decathlon CEO, Barbara Martin Coppola – “Physical inactivity is a major issue for communities right across the globe. Movement can have an incredibly positive impact on people’s wellbeing, both mentally and physically, even if it’s just a few minutes per day. At Decathlon, we’re huge advocates of helping people to incorporate movement into their daily routine, for the benefit of their individual health, but also for society as a whole. Through our purpose, to Move People Through the Wonders of Sport, our aim is to build a happier, healthier world by making it easier for people to practice the sports they love in ways that suit them.”
Li-Ning Executive Director, Colin Li – “Our focus at Li-Ning is to inspire and support physical activity for everyone, everywhere. We are dedicated to helping individuals achieve their wellness goals through the joy of movement, a commitment deeply rooted in our values.”
New Balance COO, Dave Wheeler – “New Balance is strongly committed to championing the importance of living a physically active lifestyle.  We are excited to collaborate with our industry through WFGSI to drive engagement in community sport around the world.” 
Nike VP and Chief Impact Officer, Vanessa Garcia-Brito – Nike is proud to work alongside our fellow WFSGI member companies to drive global changes that will lead to more movement for all. We’re dedicated to doing this work everyday, alongside our community partners, to increase access and opportunity for inclusive, fun, youth-centered play, leading with girls. We’re also focused on revolutionizing the future of coaching, because great coaches are gamechangers.”
On Co-Founder and Executive Co-Chairman, Caspar Coppetti – “At On, we believe incredible things happen when humans move. It is our mission to ignite the human spirit through movement. It is more than a slogan; it is a guiding principle that propels On to innovate and create products that empower people to achieve the extraordinary through movement, live a healthy lifestyle, and engage in sports.”
Orbea CEO, Daniel Martinez – “Recent data reveals that physical activity levels among adults are lower than ever, leading to a rise in obesity and sedentary lifestyle diseases. As industry leaders, we recognize our responsibility to address this escalating health crisis. We think that bicycles can play a pivotal role in promoting physical activity, and we are proud to join forces with other key players in our field to raise awareness and integrate biking and exercise into people’s daily lives.”
Pentland Brands CEO, Chirag Patel  – “Every single one of our brands is focused on making a difference to our consumers lives; helping them to live positive, active, sustainable lifestyles. This is why we passionately support this joint statement and the urgent call for action. The data speaks for itself: we must continue to invest in creating healthier, more active lifestyles for children and adults globally and finding ways to remove barriers to inactivity.” 
PUMA CEO, Arne Freundt“It is a worrying trend to see that people are becoming less active. Doing sports is a great way of increasing mental and physical wellbeing and it also has the unique power to bring people of all backgrounds together as a team. You don’t have to be a professional athlete. Everyone can benefit from being more active and feel the joy that sports can bring. As an inclusive sports brand, we want to inspire people and break down barriers for those who want to take up sports but currently cannot do so. That is why we are joining our industry peers in this call to action.”
Shimano President, Taizo Shimano“In today’s global society, physical inactivity has unfortunately increasingly become the norm. The trend in physical inactivity among adolescents and adults is a crisis, with profound implications for mental and physical health. The inactivity crisis cannot be solved alone. At Shimano, our mission is “to promote health and happiness through the enjoyment of nature and the world around us.” This is how people connect with our cycling and fishing components, and we are motivated to do all we can to live up to this mission. Tackling such a crisis requires every corporation to take responsibility to positively impact current and future generations. It requires the global sporting goods industry to work together and show our common desire for health and happiness. We are grateful to be part of the WFSGI and are proud to share the ambition for positive change with all corporations and organizations involved.”
SHRED. Co-founder and Chief Brand Officer Ted Ligety and 2x Olympic Gold Medalist, 5x World Champion Alpine Skier“We at SHRED. are deeply committed to inclusivity and increasing participation in winter and summer sports. Our largely sedentary lifestyles pose a major challenge and concern, making physical activity paramount. Collaborating with industry leaders can inspire and empower more people to engage in regular physical activity and adopt active lifestyles year-round. Together, we can address the inactivity crisis and promote a healthier and better world.”
Specialized Bicycle Components Founder, Mike Sinyard – “The research is clear: from boosting focus in youth with ADHD to delaying cognitive decline in aging adults, cycling is a powerful tool to benefit our bodies and our brains across the lifespan. We are dedicated to this important work to pedal the planet forward, as the commitment to physical activity empowers all to live their fullest, healthiest lives.”
SRAM CEO, Ken Lousberg – “We at SRAM fully support the initiative presented by the WFSGI, and we are grateful for their efforts in coordinating global support in highlighting the critical need for increased physical activity amongst our populations. The sports industry understands firsthand that movement and experience are crucial to our collective and individual health and quality of life. We are committed to dedicating our energy and resources to enable and empower more people to enhance their mental and physical health through cycling alongside the entire sports industry.”
Tecnica Group Chairman, Alberto Zanatta“As a leader in the sports industry, we are firmly committed to promoting physical activity among adults, as well as for the younger generation. We believe that sport is not just a means of keeping fit, but a fundamental pillar for mental and social well-being. Investing in sport in every age group means creating a healthier, happier and more united society.”
WT Wearable Technologies Group CEO, Christian Stammel – “The global inactivity crisis is one of the major challenges of the 21st century. Technologies and especially wearables can play an important role to understand the problem and analyze it in detail, and to motivate people to live a more active life. We at WT Wearable Technologies are committed to promote physical activity and create partnerships that foster active lifestyles and workplace health.”
ÁPICE (Brasil) Executive Director, Renato Jardim – “The new WHO data on physical inactivity is alarming. This is a time for reflection and raising awareness about the importance of regular physical activity as a preventive measure to improve health and well-being. By joining forces, we can foster healthier communities in Brazil and around the world.”
JASPO (Japan) Chairman, Motoi Oyama – “I respect the efforts of the PA Committee in elevating this issue highlighted by latest WHO data on physical inactivity to the level of a joint statement on behalf of the sporting goods and fitness industries. This is an important issue for the sports industry that was proposed by me when I was the first Chair of the WFSGI. In response to the activities of the WFSGI’s PA Committee, I am cooperating with the government and academic societies to raise awareness of the importance of PA, as Chairman of JASPO. I will continue to promote PA in the future.”
ISPO Executive Director Consumer Goods, Tobias Gröber – “The growing inactivity levels across the global population are a substantial threat and opportunity at the same time for the sports industry. If not the sports industry – who else has the natural remedy to support governments, institutions and individuals in their fight against inactivity? From now on, this topic will be implemented and woven into our platforms by sharing best practices and use cases while connecting experts, policymakers and institutions to team up and create awareness about this challenge through our global communication channels. This fight can’t be tackled by one single institution alone, but we all need to team up. Thanks to WFSGI for taking up the lead and gathering a strong activity alliance within the membership and beyond.”
Health and Fitness Association President and CEO, Liz Clark“Increasing physical activity is one of the single, most beneficial things all persons can do to improve their physical and mental health. That’s why the Health and Fitness Association is working to improve youth and adult access to sports and physical activity programs, such as gyms and exercise classes, as well as to promote individual exercise and group activities. This WHO report spotlights a concerning data set and should underscore for policy makers in individual countries and among the global NGO community, the need to focus efforts on one of the most available and affordable actions, people of all ages can take to improve their physical and mental health: exercise.”


About FESI: Founded in 1960 FESI, the Federation of the European Sporting Goods Industry, is the unique pre-competitive platform representing the interests of the sporting goods industry in Europe, advancing its members’ priorities and promoting initiatives that benefit the sector, EU citizens and the society as a whole. FESI represents the interests of approximately 1.800 sporting goods manufacturers (85% of the European market) through its National Sporting Goods Industry Federations and its directly affiliated member companies. 70-75% of FESI’s membership is made up of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises. In total, the European Sporting Goods Industry employs over 700.000 EU citizens and has an annual turnover of some 81 billion euro.

Media contact: Ariane Gatti – FESI Communication & Policy Manager / [email protected] / +32 (0) 2 762 86 48