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Increased Physical Activity

Increased Physical Activity 

  • Physical inactivity increases the risk of developing heart disease by 50%, partly because it raises the likelihood of developing significant CVD (cardiovascular disease) risk factors.1 It significantly raises the risk of obesity and high blood pressure, dyslipidemia, thrombosis (blood clot) and doubles the risk of developing diabetes.2-4
  • Cardiovascular conditioning can prolong life and is achieved through aerobic exercise or endurance –type physical activities. Other exercises like yoga and tai chi are valuable for stretching, rest and relaxation but have little cardiovascular benefit.5, 6
  • The benefits of aerobic conditioning include the following: More efficient functioning of lungs and better extraction of oxygen in the lungs into blood stream; A more efficient functioning of heart ;A change in the metabolism to the extent that you can consume more calories without gaining weight; a decrease in bodyweight  only if calories are restricted. Increase in HDL, and decrease in triglycerides and reduced risk of diabetes.7Other benefits include: prevention of inappropriate weight gain and protection against obesity, diabetes and CVD.8
  • Exercise has a tranquilizing effect and is considered the “the natures’ best tranquilizer.”Calisthenics and weightlifting must be done in conjunction with not in place an aerobic conditioning program.7 Physically active people are less depressed and have less anxiety.
  • Habitual physical activity also has a protective effect against heart attack from episodic emotional stress and physical activity include sex.9
  • The Nurses’ Health Study has found walking and moderate-intensity for 30-to 45 minutes per day lowers the risk of diabetes by 30 to 40% with greater duration and intensity of physical activity providing greater benefit.10, 11
  • The Cooper Center Longitudinal Study ( 100,000 people and 1.2 million person-years of follow-up  has reported that those in the top 40% of the fitness  classification had decrease in deaths from all causes by 65% and  increased longevity by 9 years.6
  • World wide, more than 60% of adults do not engage in sufficient levels of physical activity that are beneficial to their health.12 Physical inactivity is more prevalent among women, older adults, individuals from low socio-economic groups, and the disabled.12  People who live in cities are more likely to be inactive than rural inhabitants.13 Some parents prevent their children playing outside because of fears about the safety of their urban environments.14
  • Children should have 60 minutes of at least moderate intensity physical activity each day as a to reduce the risk of inappropriate weight gain.
  • Adults should have at least 30 -45 minutes of moderate activity daily. The longer one exercises the greater the benefits: 2 hours of exercise a week raises the good fats in the blood (HDL-C), thus protecting the heart.15
  • Moderate activity includes brisk walking, bicycling, vacuuming, gardening, or anything else that causes small increases in breathing or heart rate.16 Vigorous activity includes running, aerobics, serious gardening, or anything else that causes large increases in breathing or heart rate.16
  • Physical inactivity alone may have contributed as much as S100 billion to US medical costs in the year 2000.6


1. Hu F. B., Willett WC, Li T, Stampfer MJ, Colditz GA, Manson JE. Adiposity as compared with physical activity in predicting mortality among women. N Engl J Med. Dec 23 2004;351(26):2694-2703.

2. Rana J. S., Li TY, Manson JE, Hu FB. Adiposity compared with physical inactivity and risk of type 2 diabetes in women. Diabetes Care. Jan 2007;30(1):53-58.

3. Barlow C. E., LaMonte MJ, Fitzgerald SJ, Kampert JB, Perrin JL, Blair SN. Cardiorespiratory fitness is an independent predictor of hypertension incidence among initially normotensive healthy women. Am J Epidemiol. Jan 15 2006;163(2):142-150.

4. Booth F. W., Chakravarthy MV, Gordon SE, Spangenburg EE. Waging war on physical inactivity: using modern molecular ammunition against an ancient enemy. J Appl Physiol. Jul 2002;93(1):3-30.

5. Blair SN, Kampert JB, Kohl HW, 3rd, et al. Influences of cardiorespiratory fitness and other precursors on cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality in men and women. Jama. 1996;276(3):205-210.

6. Blair SN, Kohl HW, 3rd, Paffenbarger RS, Jr., Clark DG, Cooper KH, Gibbons LW. Physical fitness and all-cause mortality. A prospective study of healthy men and women. JAMA. Nov 3 1989;262(17):2395-2401.

7. Cooper KH. The benefits of exercise in promoting long and healthy lives – my observations. Methodist Debakey Cardiovasc J. Oct-Dec 2010;6(4):10-12.

8. Vainionpaa A., Korpelainen R, Kaikkonen H, Knip M, Leppaluoto J, Jamsa T. Effect of impact exercise on physical performance and cardiovascular risk factors. Medicine and science in sports and exercise. May 2007;39(5):756-763.

9. Dahabreh IJ, Paulus JK. Association of episodic physical and sexual activity with triggering of acute cardiac events: systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA. Mar 23 2011;305(12):1225-1233.

10. Hu FB, Sigal RJ, Rich-Edwards JW, et al. Walking compared with vigorous physical activity and risk of type 2 diabetes in women: a prospective study. Jama. 1999;282(15):1433-1439.

11. Hu FB, Manson JE. Walking: the best medicine for diabetes? Arch Intern Med. Jun 23 2003;163(12):1397-1398.

12. World Health Organization. Preventing Chronic Disease: A Vital Investment  World Heath Organization, Geneva 2005. 2005.

13. Weng X., Liu Y, Ma J, Wang W, Yang G, Caballero B. An urban-rural comparison of the prevalence of the metabolic syndrome in Eastern China. Public Health Nutr. Feb 2007;10(2):131-136.

14. Weir L. A., Etelson D, Brand DA. Parents’ perceptions of neighborhood safety and children’s physical activity. Preventive medicine. Sep 2006;43(3):212-217.

15.Kodama S., Tanaka S, Saito K, et al. Effect of Aerobic Exercise Training on Serum Levels of High-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol: A Meta-analysis. Arch Intern Med. May 28 2007;167(10):999-1008.

16. Morrato E. H., Hill JO, Wyatt HR, Ghushchyan V, Sullivan PW. Physical activity in U.S. adults with diabetes and at risk for developing diabetes, 2003. Diabetes Care. Feb 2007;30(2):203-209.

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