There are hardly any more effective and at the same time simpler ways to protect physical and mental health and the climate than exercise.

But according to the Robert Koch Institute, only every fourth adolescent and every third adult moves as much as the World Health Organization recommends.

Their Global Action Plan aims to reduce inactivity by 15 percent by 2030.

Otherwise, the UN organization expects around 500 million avoidable cases of chronic diseases, mostly due to high blood pressure and depression.

"States and communities need to provide more opportunities for physical activity for all people," she said recently.

To this end, safe walking and cycling should be expanded, as well as options for exercise in schools and at work.

Fun with sport thanks to obstacles

According to a team of architects and psychologists from the Universities of Cambridge and Essex, people should also move in completely new – and yet also old – ways in the future: As our everyday landscapes have become more and more two-dimensional over the centuries, they propose to offer obstacles to pedestrians – which, according to their survey, stimulated the desire for movement, as they report in “Landscape Research”.

They showed 595 subjects photo montages of British cities in which passers-by jump and balance over stones, narrow wooden bridges, wavy paths on different surfaces or wooden beams instead of on level paths.

In at least one scenario, around 80 percent of the participants stated that they would rather choose the course than a straight path - the willingness varied between 14 and 78 percent, depending on the level of difficulty.

There were even more if the challenging path was longer than the conventional one or equipped with a handrail.

This also opens up new options in buildings.

"To improve cardiovascular health, bone density and balance, we need to incorporate a wider range of exercise into our daily walks," says architect and study author Anna Boldina.

She herself came across the subject after moving to London from the hilly and rock-climbing city of Coimbra, Portugal.

This idea may not sound so new for other cities either: Berliners, for example, can already use mattresses, pallets or tires lying on the sidewalk as an opportunity for a trip into the third dimension.