The Training Centre
By Aspire
Jul 18 22

Physical Activity

Phillippa Butterworth

The World Health Organization (WHO), defines physical activity as any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that requires energy expenditure.  Physical activity refers to all movement including during leisure time, for transport to get to and from places, or as part of a person’s work. Both moderate and vigorous intensity physical activity improve health.

Popular ways to be active include walking, cycling, wheeling, sports, active recreation and play, and can be done at any level of skill and for enjoyment by everybody. 

Regular physical activity is proven to help prevent and manage non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and several cancers.  It also helps prevent hypertension, maintain healthy body weight and can improve mental health, quality of life and well-being. 

Key facts:

  • Physical activity has significant health benefits for hearts, bodies and minds
  • Physical activity contributes to preventing and managing non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer and diabetes
  • Physical activity reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety
  • Physical activity enhances thinking, learning, and judgment skills
  • Physical activity ensures healthy growth and development in young people
  • Physical activity improves overall well-being
  • Globally, 1 in 4 adults do not meet the global recommended levels of physical activity
  • Up to 5 million deaths a year could be averted if the global population was more active

People who are insufficiently active have a 20% to 30% increased risk of death compared to people who are sufficiently active and more than 80% of the world’s adolescent population is insufficiently physically active. Regular physical activity, such as walking, cycling, wheeling, doing sports or active recreation, provides significant benefits for health.  Some physical activity is better than doing none.  By becoming more active throughout the day in relatively simple ways, people can easily achieve the recommended activity levels.