IDIBELL promotes physical activity on World Health Day

  • Although a sedentary lifestyle is one of the main risk factors for many diseases, 47% of the Spanish population never engage in physical activity.
  • For World Health Day, IDIBELL echoes the problem of sedentary lifestyles through a communication campaign developed in collaboration with L’HAgència.
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More and more people are reducing their physical activity. Sedentarism is increasing worldwide, but especially in developed countries. Actually, some specialists already consider it as the 21st century pandemic. According to the latest special Eurobarometer on sport and physical activity, 47% of the population in Spain never do any physical activity and only 42% of the population do it at least once a week. Some of the main causes are spending excessive time with screens, whether for work or entertainment, the lack of free time and the fact that every time we travel and commute more by motorized transport instead of walking or cycling.

Following a sedentary lifestyle is one of the main risk factors for chronic diseases such as cancer, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular conditions, and also to mental health disorders; in addition, it can increase the risk of mortality by 20 or 30% That’s why it’s important to take action: the World Health Organization recommends that adults do 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity per week, or 75 to 150 minutes if high intensity, combined with strength exercises at least twice a week. In addition to reducing the risk of disease, physical activity improves emotional well-being, mental health, bones and muscles strength, memory, attention and overall quality of life.

On the occasion of World Health Day, IDIBELL has collaborated with L’HAgència to create a communication campaign that gives visibility to this problem. The campaign aims to directly appeal those who are in a sedentary situation through a clear and direct message in social media: “get active!”. L’HAgència members are the Institut Provençana Higher Cycle of Marketing and Advertising students, in L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, who have already previously collaborated with the IDIBELL Communications and Fundraising Unit.

IDIBELL’s nutrition and cancer research group conducts research on the role of lifestyle, especially nutrition and physical activity, in the prevention and prognosis of cancer. In fact, this year the +ACTIU project was kicked off, led by Dr. Paula Jakszyn. Its aim is to find strategies to create healthy cities, urban environments that encourage physical activity, through co-creation workshops with health professionals, urban planners, general citizens and chronic pathology patients. Dr. Jakszyn also participates in an intervention led by Blanquerna University that seeks to promote physical activity in patients with lung cancer. On the other hand, a researcher in the same group, Marta Crous, has received a grant from the Association Contra el Cáncer to study the relationship between physical exercise, lifestyle and endometrial cancer at an epidemiological level. The results of works like these will provide tools to implement public health promotion measures that include the reduction of sedentary lifestyles at the population level.



The Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL) is a biomedical research center created in 2004. It is participated by the Bellvitge University Hospital and the Viladecans Hospital of the Catalan Institute of Health, the Catalan Institute of Oncology, the University of Barcelona and the City Council of L’Hospitalet de Llobregat.

IDIBELL is a member of the Campus of International Excellence of the University of Barcelona HUBc and is part of the CERCA institution of the Generalitat de Catalunya. In 2009 it became one of the first five Spanish research centers accredited as a health research institute by the Carlos III Health Institute. In addition, it is part of the “HR Excellence in Research” program of the European Union and is a member of EATRIS and REGIC. Since 2018, IDIBELL has been an Accredited Center of the AECC Scientific Foundation (FCAECC).

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