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Sedentary lifestyles and physical activity in the aftermath of a health crisis

Indicators of a high level of sedentary behaviour associated with an insufficient level of physical activity have worsened in France during the health crisis, particularly as a result of the various lockdowns put in place.

Studies and reports show the link between insufficient physical activity and increased risk of mortality as well as the benefits of physical activity on chronic diseases and mental health.

In this context, the Haut Conseil de la santé publique (High Council for Public Health) is issuing recommendations aimed at limiting sedentary behaviour and increasing physical activity, taking into account environmental and psychosocial factors that may play a role in promoting sedentary behaviour and reducing physical activity, in particular by :

  • Supporting people to engage in sustained physical activity and reduce sedentary behaviours ;
  • promoting an environment in everyday life that is conducive to physical activity for everyone: companies, schools and universities, local and regional actors;
  • to target vulnerable populations;
  • to pay particular attention to adolescents, the elderly, people with chronic diseases and people in precarious situations.

This is a priority for future research in order to determine, not so much the responsibility of the health crisis in modifying health conditions, but its role as a trigger or facilitator in the deterioration of the health of certain categories of the population. If proven, this observation requires the implementation of specific and targeted interventions.

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