The German recommendations for physical activity promotion

  • Karim Abu-Omar
  • Alfred Rütten
  • Sven Messing
  • Klaus Pfeifer
  • Ulrike Ungerer-Röhrich
  • Lee Goodwin
  • Ionuţ Burlacu
  • Günther Gediga
Original Article



This article describes the German recommendations for physical activity promotion. Such recommendations serve as an important stepping stone to increase physical activity prevalences on the population level.

Subjects and methods

The German recommendations for physical activity promotion are based on three separate reviews: (1) a systematic review of reviews to formulate recommendations on the efficacy and effectiveness of interventions for physical activity promotion, which included 213 reviews; (2) a systematic review of reviews to investigate the cost-effectiveness of interventions for the promotion of physical activity, comprising of 18 reviews; (3) a review to identify literature on quality criteria for the conceptualisation, implementation and evaluation of interventions for physical activity promotion, which encompassed 24 studies and documents. Through an expert consensus panel, findings from each review were utilised to formulate specific recommendations for Germany.


Recommendations for physical activity promotion are provided for the following target groups: children and adolescents, adults, older adults, adults with a chronic disease and the general population. For each target group, other than the general population, the recommendations are structured by setting. Alongside recommendations on the efficacy and effectiveness of interventions, recommendations were also formulated for health equity, cost-effectiveness and quality criteria.


From a political perspective, the development of recommendations for physical activity promotion highlights an important milestone for Germany. Not only do the national recommendations describe the amount of physical activity people should engage in, but they also provide organisations with information on how to support people in becoming more active.


Physical activity Recommendations Review Efficacy Cost-effectiveness Quality 



This research was conducted as part of a project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Health (ZMVI 5 2514FSB-200). The ministry was involved in neither writing this manuscript nor in the decision to submit the article for publication.

Compliance with ethical standards

Disclosure of potential conflicts of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sport Science and SportFriedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-NürnbergErlangenGermany
  2. 2.Institute for Sport ScienceUniversity of BayreuthBayreuthGermany
  3. 3.Institute for PsychologyUniversity of MünsterMünsterGermany

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