Physical activity in Argentina
Physical activity is considered a human right whose practice should be promoted to ensure a better quality of life and the protection of health.
In Argentina, evidence indicates that the rates of obesity, physical inactivity and unhealthy diet have increased:
- According to the Global School Health Survey (GSHS) of the National Ministry of Health, less than 20% of teenagers do the amount of physical activity suggested for their age; 81% of surveyed students aged 13 to 15 said not to perform a minimum of 60 minutes of physical activity five days a week, and 48% reported spending 3 or more hours per day in sedentary activities.
- According to the National Survey of Risk Factors (Encuesta Nacional de Factores de Riesgo - ENFR) of the National Ministry of Health, between 2005 and 2009 there was an increase in obesity, physical inactivity and unhealthy eating. Low-income groups had worse indicators: the 2009 survey shows that physical inactivity level in groups of high socioeconomic status is 52%, while in low-income groups it reaches 56%.
- The National Ministry of Health's 2010 National Survey of Nutrition and Health indicated a prevalence of physical inactivity of 64.9% for women in childbearing age. Prevalence of obesity was of 19.4% in this group and of 6.6% in children 6 months to 5 years.
During the last four decades, Argentina has encouraged the implementation of measures and legislation that promote physical activity. However, the current challenge is to create an integrated national strategic plan to regularly assess physical activity levels and to lower the prevalence of sedentary behavior. It is thus essential to continue working to ensure access to physical activity to all Argentineans.