Bicycle Network: Prevention
Strong medical evidence shows that the diseases caused by a sedentary lifestyle can be avoided, mitigated and remediated by moderate levels of physical activity. In addition bicycle riding has been clinically proven to be a method of physical activity that delivers these benefits.
Milestones in health promotion
According to the World Health Organisation 'Health promotion' is the 'process of enabling people to increase control over, and to improve their health'. This is the task that we are engaged in.
The Ottawa Charter
The First International Conference on Health Promotion, organized by the World Health Organization (WHO) was held in Canada in 1986
This conference produced the Ottawa Charter in 1986
One of the principles of the Charter is that 'health' cannot be ensured by the health sector alone and that organisations like ours play a key role. The Charter says that 'health promotion demands coordinated action by all concerned: by governments, by health and other social and economic sectors, by nongovernmental and voluntary organisations, by local authorities, by industry and by the media'.
The Jakarta Declaration
The consenus that emerged at a similar conference in 1997 was encapsulated in the Jakarta Declaration.
The Declaration affirmed the content of the Ottawa Charter emphasising that There is now clear evidence that particular settings offer practical opportunities for the implementation health promotion strategies such as cities, municipalities, local communities, schools and the workplace. Two of our most effective programs are 'settings' based - Ride to School and Ride to Work.
The attached document summarises the WHO conference statements.
In 2010 the Toronto Charter for Physical Activity was launched. This articulates nine priniciples which inform our work:
1. Adopt evidence based strategies that target the whole population as well as specific population sub groups, particularly those facing the greatest barriers;
2. Embrace an equity approach aimed at reducing social and health inequalities and disparities of access to physical activity;
3. Address the environmental, social and individual determinants of physical inactivity;
4. Implement sustainable actions in partnership at national, regional and local levels and across multiple sectors to achieve greatest impact;
5. Build capacity and support training in research, practice, policy, evaluation and surveillance;
6. Use a life-course approach by addressing the needs of children, families, adults and older adults;
7. Advocate to decision makers and the general community for an increase in political commitment to and resources for physical activity;
8. Ensure cultural sensitivity and adapt strategies to accommodate varying ‘local realities’, contexts and resources;
9. Facilitate healthy personal choices by making the physically active choice the easy choice.