In Italy, the National Health Plan 2003-2005 for the first time stressed the importance of physical activity for health, reinforced in the National Health Plan 2006-2008, which addresses the issue of physical inactivity, particularly from the point of view of the causes diabetes mellitus.

Research and monitoring activities have been promoted, within the activities of the National Health Institute (scientific Body of the Ministry of Health ) together with initiatives in the area of prevention and physical activity promotion.

As indicated in the annual report on the state of health of the country, in 2003-2004, among the possible priority actions, the following are considered more effective in terms of public health promotion:

  • To increase the time devoted to physical activity inside and outside the school, including the promotion of sports and recreational facilities;
  • To develop educational activities for children on physical activity as an integral part of education programs for health;
  • To urge employers to facilitate the practice of regular physical activity by employees;
  • To support citizens sporting activities through, for example, the organization of events;
  • To promote the development of urban environments that encourage physical activity.


The National policy for the promotion of physical activity based on the Ministry of Health Policy (PNPAM) "Gaining Health"

The purpose of the policy was to develop a national policy on physical activity based on the Gaining Health strategy of the World Health Organization (2006).

The policy making process included activities in six Italian regions. The PNPAM policy started officially with an agreement between the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Youth and Sports and Local Health Unit (ULSS 20 Verona). The development of the executive project PNPAM was committed to a local entity, the Local Health Unit (ULSS 20 of Verona). It was stated that an “executive project” has to be completed within 60 days from the agreement. The policy making process was an example of multi-level decision making process and can be identified as a long policy trajectory, in which the role of crucial individuals seemed to be the action stimulus who lobbied the Ministry of Health to take part in a national policy on physical activity. The total duration of the whole policy making process, including the initial informal stimulus was 8 years.

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