Prescription #7 of “Some Prescriptions For Productive Goals” is (derived from the World Health Organization, “Global recommendations on physical activity for health”) : Engage in regular and adequate levels of physical activity (unless contraindicated by specific medical conditions).
From The World Health Organization (www.who.int/topics/physical_activity/en/) : “Physical activity is defined as any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that requires energy expenditure. Physical inactivity has been identified as the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality causing an estimated 3.2 million deaths globally. Regular moderate intensity physical activity – such as walking, cycling, or participating in sports – has significant benefits for health. For instance, it can reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, colon and breast cancer, and depression. Moreover adequate levels of physical activity will decrease the risk of a hip or vertebral fracture and help control weight.”
Under the tab “Programmes and projects” and “Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity, and Health” with the title, “Physical Activity” on the World Health Organization web site : “…Physical inactivity (lack of physical activity) has been identified as the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality (6% of deaths globally). Moreover, physical inactivity is estimated to be the main cause for approximately 21–25% of breast and colon cancers, 27% of diabetes and approximately 30% of ischaemic heart disease burden.
Regular and adequate levels of physical activity in adults:
- reduce the risk of hypertension, coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, breast and colon cancer, depression and the risk of falls;
- improve bone and functional health; and
- are a key determinant of energy expenditure, and thus fundamental to energy balance and weight control.
The term ‘physical activity’ should not be mistaken with ‘exercise’. Exercise, is a subcategory of physical activity that is planned, structured, repetitive, and purposeful in the sense that the improvement or maintenance of one or more components of physical fitness is the objective. Physical activity includes exercise as well as other activities which involve bodily movement and are done as part of playing, working, active transportation, house chores and recreational activities.
Increasing physical activity is a societal, not just an individual problem. Therefore it demands a population-based, multi-sectoral, multi-disciplinary, and culturally relevant approach.”
The WHO provides additional information recommendations on physical activity :
“WHO developed the ‘Global Recommendations on Physical Activity for Health’ with the overall aim of providing national and regional level policy makers with guidance on the dose-response relationship between the frequency, duration, intensity, type and total amount of physical activity needed for the prevention of NCDs.
The recommendations set out in this document address three age groups: 5–17 years old; 18–64 years old; and 65 years old and above. For further information click below and download the complete document ‘Global Recommendations on Physical Activity for Health’ available in:
(“NCDs” above refers to noncommunicable diseases)
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Louis DeCola, Jr. © 2011 The Hygiology Post