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Summary of Physical Activity Benefits

Updated: Sep 5, 2019



A summary of disease prevention and health promotion benefits (779 pgs) were presented to the secretary of health and human services. Their purpose was stated as “The Guidelines serves as the primary, authoritative voice of the federal government for evidence-based guidance on physical activity, fitness, and health for Americans.” Here is a short list from their executive section (document summary) on physical activity benefits: o Improved sleep o Improved Executive and physical function o Reduces depression & anxiety o Weight gain, excessive weight gain in pregnant women o Reduced risk of dementia o Reduced fall risk in older adults o Reduced risk of colon cancer Below are the most important high lights to me: “Some benefits happen immediately. A single bout of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity will reduce blood pressure, improve insulin sensitivity, improve sleep, reduce anxiety symptoms, and improve cognition on the day that it is performed.” “A large portion of the general population already has a chronic disease or condition , regular physical activity can reduce the risk of developing a new chronic condition, reduce the risk of progression of the condition they already have… including osteoarthritis, hypertension, and type 2 diabetes.” “For individuals who perform no or little moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, replacing sedentary behavior with light-intensity physical activity reduces the risk of all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease incidence and mortality, and the incidence of type 2 diabetes.” “For any given increase in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, the relative gain in benefits is greater for individuals who are below the current public health target range than for individuals already within the physical activity target range. For individuals below the target range, substantial reductions in risk are available with relatively small increases in moderate-intensity physical activity.”


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