The Benefits of Physical Activity
Key Benefits of Regular Physical Activity
The key benefits of regular physical include:
- better health
- improved fitness
- better posture and balance
- higher self-esteem
- weight control
- stronger muscles and bones
- feeling more energetic
- relaxation and reduced stress
- continued independent living in later life
Landmark Report on Physical Activity and Health
In 1996, the U.S. Surgeon General published a landmark Report on Physical Activity and Health that documented in detail the
medical benefits of physical activity on:
- overall mortality
- cardiovascular diseases
- coronary heart disease
- high blood pressure
- colon cancer
- breast cancer
- non-insulin dependent diabetes
- depression, anxiety and mood
- psychological well-being
Evolution of Evidence Regarding Benefits of Physical Activity
Since the original Surgeon General 's Report on Physical Activity & Health:
- More evidence has emerged that physical activity and physical fitness protect against cardiovascular disease. More has been learned about
the value of even moderate activity like brisk walking to reduce cardiovascular risks.
- The beneficial effects of physical activity in counteracting the 'metabolic syndrome' which includes glucose intolerance, high blood pressure,
excess weight and type 2 diabetes have been clarified.
- Studies on aging have continued to show that being physically active helps people maintain physical and mental function and remain independent as they age.
- The link between physical activity and lowered risks of colon cancer and breast cancer has strengthened.
- Evidence has shown that physical activity, along with healthy eating, can play a vital role in combating the alarming increase in obesity
and obesity-related diseases that has been occurring in both developed and developing countries.
- Based on the mounting evidence, experts have grown increasingly aware that physical activity and healthy eating can make a real impact on
the predicted rise in chronic diseases as the population ages. Consequently, the promotion of physical activity and healthy eating can help to contain
the rise in health-care costs that threatens to consume an ever-larger share of Canadian society 's resources.
- An effective effort to mobilize this knowledge calls for the use of all the potential settings of health promotion, including communities,
schools/universities, and workplaces.