To implement effective non-communicable disease prevention programmes, policy makers need data for physical activity levels and trends. In this report, we describe physical activity levels worldwide with data for adults (15 years or older) from 122 countries and for adolescents (13-15-years-old) from 105 countries. Worldwide, 31·1% (95% CI 30·9-31·2) of adults are physically inactive, with proportions ranging from 17·0% (16·8-17·2) in southeast Asia to about 43% in the Americas and the eastern Mediterranean. Inactivity rises with age, is higher in women than in men, and is increased in high-income countries. The proportion of 13-15-year-olds doing fewer than 60 min of physical activity of moderate to vigorous intensity per day is 80·3% (80·1-80·5); boys are more active than are girls. Continued improvement in monitoring of physical activity would help to guide development of policies and programmes to increase activity levels and to reduce the burden of non-communicable diseases.