Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Physical activity

Physical activity



Physical activity is defined as any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that requires energy expenditure.
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 recommended levels of physical activity for health benefits and prevention of noncommunicable diseases are available for download here.http://whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/2010/9789241599979_eng.pdf
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.

Age group: 5-17 Years old

For children and young people, physical activity includes play,games, sports, transportation, chores, recreation, physical education, or planned exercise, in the context of family, school, and community activities. In order to improve cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness, bone health, and cardiovascular and metabolic health biomarkers:
  • Children and youth aged 5–17 should accumulate at least 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity daily.
  • Amounts of physical activity greater than 60 minutes provide additional health benefits.
  • Most of the daily physical activity should be aerobic. Vigorous-intensity activities should be incorporated, including those that strengthen muscle and bone, at least 3 times per week.
More information about Physical Activity in Young People

Age group: 18-64 years old

 

In adults aged 18–64, physical activity includes leisure time physical activity, transportation (e.g. walking or cycling), occupational (i.e. work), household chores, play, games, sports or planned exercise, in the context of daily, family, and community activities. In order to improve cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness, bone health, reduce the risk of NCDs and depression:
  • Adults aged 18–64 should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week or do at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity.
  • Aerobic activity should be performed in bouts of at least 10 minutes duration.
  • For additional health benefits, adults should increase their moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity to 300 minutes per week, or engage in 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity per week, or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity.
  • Muscle-strengthening activities should be done involving major muscle groups on 2 or more days a week.
More information about Physical Activity in Adults


Age group: 65 years old and above

In older adults aged 65 years and above, physical activity includes leisure time physical activity, transportation (e.g. walking or cycling), occupational (if the individual is still engaged in work), household chores, play, games, sports or planned exercise, in the context of daily, family, and community activities. In order to improve cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness, bone and functional health, reduce the risk of NCDs, depression and cognitive decline:
  • Older adults should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week or do at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity.
  • Aerobic activity should be performed in bouts of at least 10 minutes duration.
  • For additional health benefits, older adults should increase their moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity to 300 minutes per week, or engage in 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity per week, or an equivalent combination of moderate-and vigorous-intensity activity.
  • Older adults, with poor mobility, should perform physical activity to enhance balance and prevent falls on 3 or more days per week.
  • Muscle-strengthening activities, involving major muscle groups, should be done on 2 or more days a week.
  • When older adults cannot do the recommended amounts of physical activity due to health conditions, they should be as physically active as their abilities and conditions allow.
More information about Physical Activity in Older Adults

 

Facts on physical activity

The concept of physical activity covers all forms of muscular work which boosts energy conversion. Exercise covers both unstructured activity and more conscious, targeted and regular training. Here, the concepts physical activity and exercise are used synonymously. Training is planned, structured physical activity which is performed regularly to maintain and/or improve your physical condition and sense of well-being. In contrast, inactivity describes a life without any movement. Inactive people are not physically active in any way and engage in neither structured nor structured physical activities.

Effect of physical activity Current research into the effects of physical activity on the body shows that:
  • People who are normally inactive can improve their health and physical well-being by engaging in regular exercise. 
  • People of all ages – children, adults, older people, women and men – all benefit physiologically from physical activity. 
  • Physical activity does not have to be exhausting for it to benefit your health. 
  • Physical activity has many positive effects on the bodily functions. Its effect on the heart, circulation and muscles has been recognised for many years. However, it is also worth noting the positive effect of exercise on your metabolism and on the hormone and immune systems. 
  • Many of the positive effects of physical activity – both from endurance training and from muscle-strengthening exercise – diminish after a few weeks. If you stop being active altogether, the effect disappears completely within 2-8 months. 
  • Physical activity leads to socio-psychological benefits in the form of feeling happy about life, higher energy levels, social well-being, self-confidence and decisiveness. Moreover, it has been demonstrated that there is a positive connection between physical activity and cognitive processes which are necessary for children's learning.

Why 30/60 minutes?

Regular physical activity can help to keep your body fit and healthy and prevent a number of illnesses and ailments.
Physical activity prevents the following lifestyle and widespread chronic diseases:
  • Circulatory diseases (cardiovascular diseases, raised cholesterol, triglyceride and blood pressure levels, overweight, obesity, insulin resistance and type II diabetes) 
  • Stress 
  • Muscular and skeletal illnesses 
  • Certain cancers (colon cancer and breast cancer) 
  • Mental illnesses (depression, anxiety and dementia) 
  • Osteoporosis

Physical activity improves your health:
  • Helps to reduce blood pressure for people who already have high blood pressure
  • Helps control weight
  • Helps older people become stronger and better able to move about without falling over
  • Improves mental and social well-being, including feeling happy about life, energy levels, social well-being, self-confidence and decisiveness
  • Regular physical activity can prevent the above diseases while promoting the beneficial conditions

If you already suffer from one of the above illnesses, physical activity can help reduce the risk of the illness developing or your condition deteriorating.

Recommendations for the overweight

  • All overweight and obese people must engage in moderate-intensity physical activity for at least 30 minutes, ideally seven days a week. The 30 minutes can be split into shorter periods, for example 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes later, or three 10-minute periods in the course of the day.

  • If you want to lose weight, the Danish National Board of Health recommends a combination of regular physical activity and reducing the number of calories you consume.

Preventing overweight and obesity
Physical inactivity increases the risk of becoming overweight and obese, which has further implications for your health. You can prevent a number of lifestyle diseases related to overweight and obesity by following the Board's recommendations regarding physical activity. The effect is greatest if you combine physical activity with lower calorie consumption. Physical activity prevents the following conditions which can be triggered by overweight and obesity:
  • Type 2 diabetes (improving the insulin effect)
  • Dyslipidemia (elevated concentration of triglyceride and cholesterol in the blood)
  • Raised blood pressure

Weighing machine


Physical activity for pregnancy

Physical exercise during pregnancy is beneficial for both mother and child, and there are only a few important precautions. Several studies have shown that women who are physically active before they become pregnant can certainly continue being active while pregnant, as long as they feel comfortable. Pregnant women who have not previously been physically active can benefit from being physically active and taking exercise while pregnant.
Physical activity covers all forms of movement which boosts energy conversion. Examples include moving at work and around your home, active transport (e.g. cycling and walking) or athletics and sport in your leisure time etc.

Physical activity when pregnantThe Danish National Board of Health recommends that pregnant women engage in moderate-intensity exercise for at least 30 minutes a day. The 30 minutes can be split into shorter periods, for example 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes later, or three 10-minute periods in the course of the day.
What is moderate-intensity exercise tip

Physical activity which is not recommended when pregnant
Contact sports and team sports which involve a risk of collision with fellow players and/or opponents are not recommended for pregnant women as there is considerable risk of unexpected jolts. Likewise, skiing and riding should be avoided as falls can lead to serious injury. Suitable forms of physical exercise include walking and hiking, swimming, running, muscle-strengthening exercises (in a seated position and not heavy weight training), cycling, spinning, aerobics etc.
Pregnant women are advised not to engage in high-intensity physical activity where their blood circulation is pushed to the limit if they have not engaged in high-intensity exercise prior to becoming pregnant. Pregnant women who are used to high-intensity exercise are advised not to do long-distance running and other fatiguing activities, and to refrain from intensifying their training while pregnant. Moreover, pregnant women are advised to listen carefully to their bodies if they engage in high-intensity physical exercise. Respect pain.

Older people and physical activity

Recommendations for older people

  • The Danish National Board of Health recommends that older people, like younger adults, spend at least 30 minutes a day engaged in moderate-intensity physical activity.

What is moderate-intensity physical activity? Moderate-intensity physical activity involves all types of activity/exercise which increase the pulse rate, and where you can continue talking at the same time. Examples of moderate-intensity physical exercise: cycling and walking to and from the supermarket, gardening, walking up and down stairs, going jogging and other types of exercise. The bottom limit for moderate-intensity physical exercise corresponds to walking at an average speed of 4 km/h.
Many of the problems faced by older people in their daily lives can be prevented through physical activity.

The benefits of being physically active are:
  • less risk of falling ill
  • improved quality of life
  • less risk of falling over
  • longer life-span

Older people can benefit further by:
  • performing activities at least twice a week which maintain or increase their muscle strength and fitness
  • being physically active in ways that exercise their sense of balance
  • maintaining their mobility by performing stretching exercises
http://www.sst.dk/~/media/Sundhed%20og%20forebyggelse/Fysisk%20aktivitet/The%20Toronto%20Charter/The%20Toronto%20Charter%20for%20Physical%20Activity%20and%20Health.ashx

    Physical activity and energy consumption

    Increased physical activity in connection with daily activities can lead to increased energy consumption. The table shows how much energy you normally burn when performing various activities.
    It is important to emphasize that increased energy consumption does not necessarily lead to weight loss. Being active can reduce the amount of fat on your body, but it can also result in more muscle mass – in which case the scales show the same weight. An important aspect of exercising is, also in relation to weight regulation that it helps to restore and maintain balance within the body, benefiting your appetite and metabolism. From a health point of view, it is better to be physically active and weigh a couple of kilogrammes too much than being slim and physically inactive.


    Energy consumption with a passive lifestyle versus an active lifestyle:  
    Daily energy consumption
      Passive    (kJ/day)    Active    (kJ/day) 
    Work
    Take the lift up three floors and down three floors 
     3
    Walk three floors up and down the stairs 
    45
    Email colleagues 
     25
    Go down and talk to colleagues 
    35
    Transport
    Drive children to and from kindergarten/school
     50
    Spend 20 min. cycling or walking children to and from kindergarten/school 
      600
    Drive to and from work
      75
    Walk to catch the bus/train to and from work
     450
    Home - indoors
    Spend 30 min. a day sitting and chatting on the phone 
     45
    Stand up while talking on the phone 
     75
    Use the remote to change TV programmes
     3
    Get up and change TV channel manually 
     15
    Wait for the pizza delivery 
    45
    Spend 30 min. cooking
    225
    Use the dishwasher
    75
    Wash up by hand
     195
    Tumble-dry your clothes 
    0
    Hang up the washing
    35
    Employ a cleaner
    0
    Do the cleaning once a week
    187
    Emply a window-cleaner once a month
     0
    Clean the windows every three months
    16
    Home - outdoors
    Let your dog run around the garden
     8
    Take the dog for a 30 min. walk 
    450
    Cut the grass using a motorised lawnmower
     26
    Cut the grass with a hand-powered lawnmower evey 10 days during the summer
     56
    Take the car to a car wash         
     3
    Wash the car by hand once a month
     35
    Leisure activities    
    Sit in front of the TV/computer        
    68
    Go for a walk or play with your children for 45 min.
     675
    Total energy consumption    
    426
     3.094















    1 comment:

    Okuma said...

    Obesity is devastating and may result to clinical depression. Such condition causes sadness, anger and worry. But taking small steps in setting weight loss goal can improve body image outlook.