Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública
Print version ISSN 1020-4989
SALINAS, Judith and VIO, Fernando. Promoting health and physical activity in Chile: a policy priority. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2003, vol.14, n.4, pp. 281-288. ISSN 1020-4989. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49892003000900015.
This piece describes and analyzes the situation with respect to physical activity in Chile and the policies and strategies that have been developed in order to combat sedentary lifestyles. The level of sedentary lifestyles in the Chilean population is very high, with 91% performing less than 30 minutes of physical activity three times per week. This predicament has worsened as a result of increased urbanization and economic growth over the past decade, with a resulting increase in the number of cars and televisions, along with a rise in the number of hours that workers are on the job each day. In order to deal with this situation a policy to develop physical activity was implemented as a part of the country's general health promotion policy. This policy is overseen by the CHILE LIFE Council (Consejo VIDA CHILE), which is made up of 28 Chilean institutions. The policy encompasses various strategies, such as preparing guides to active living for the Chilean population, conducting educational activities and human resources training for kindergartens and other schools, establishing regulatory measures, performing research, carrying out media campaigns, reclaiming public spaces for recreation, and creating incentives for physical activity in the workplace. These strategies have been well received by the general population, academicians, professionals, and technicians. This makes it possible to foresee achieving in the medium and long term the objectives that have been set: more active lives and a better state of health for the Chilean population.
Keywords : actividad física; estilo de vida; Chile.