Physical activity is one of the major lifestyle-related health determinants. Widespread acknowledgement of this fact is vitally important in addressing the impact of physical inactivity on the risk of developing a number of chronic diseases. Encouraging people to be physically active has numerous benefits that go beyond health, to include the economy and development. A comprehensive, integrated and intersectoral approach is needed, with emphasis on environmental, social and population strategies in support of individual ones. The promotion of physical activity should therefore be a fundamental component of public health work. Action must now be taken on the basis of the best available evidence and practice. This document provides Member States, experts and policy-makers with guidance on designing and implementing physical activity-promoting policy and action, as part of a national public health agenda and through multisectoral cooperation.