Physical activity

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(Redirected from Exercise)


Physical activity encompasses any form of movement produced by the skeletal muscles that leads to energy expenditure[1]. This activity, ranging from leisurely activities like walking and yoga, to more vigorous tasks like running or heavy lifting, is a critical component of maintaining good health and well-being.

Insufficient physical activity

Benefits of Physical Activity

SLNSW 9133 Womens class at the BjelkePetersen School of Physical Culture

Physical activity has numerous health benefits, with both immediate and long-term positive effects on the body. It contributes to the prevention and management of non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes, by reducing risk factors like high blood pressure and blood glucose levels[2].

In addition to physiological benefits, engaging in regular physical activity can improve mental health by reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety, enhancing cognitive function, and improving overall quality of life[3].

Types of Physical Activity

Physical activity can be categorized into four main types: aerobic exercise, strength-building activities, balance exercises, and flexibility exercises. Each type of activity has distinct benefits, and a balanced exercise regimen will typically include elements from all four categories.

Physical Activity Recommendations

Physical activity guidelines vary by age, but in general, adults are encouraged to participate in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity each week, along with muscle-strengthening activities on two or more days a week[4].

Barriers and Solutions

Barriers to regular physical activity often include lack of time, poor access to safe places to exercise, and lack of motivation. Solutions involve incorporating physical activity into daily routines, creating safe public spaces for physical activity, and promoting the benefits of exercise within communities[5].

Physical activity statistics in the United States

According to the BRFSS survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control in 2012 in the United States with the question: During the past month, did you participate in any physical activity?

State: Yes No
Nationwide (States, DC, and Territories) 76.9 23.1
Nationwide (States and DC) 77.1 22.9
Alabama 72.8 27.2
Alaska 81.5 18.5
Arizona 77.4 22.6
Arkansas 68.5 31.5
California 80.8 19.2
Colorado 83.0 17.0
Connecticut 77.9 22.1
Delaware 76.5 23.5
District of Columbia 82.6 17.4
Florida 76.7 23.3
Georgia 76.4 23.6
Guam 72.4 27.6
Hawaii 81.3 18.7
Idaho 79.7 20.3
Illinois 78.2 21.8
Indiana 74.1 25.9
Iowa 76.9 23.1
Kansas 77.1 22.9
Kentucky 70.3 29.7
Louisiana 70.1 29.9
Maine 79.1 20.9
Maryland 76.9 23.1
Massachusetts 80.2 19.8
Michigan 76.7 23.3
Minnesota 82.5 17.6
Mississippi 69.2 30.8
Missouri 75.3 24.7
Montana 79.5 20.5
Nebraska 79.0 21.0
Nevada 78.7 21.3
New Hampshire 80.0 20.0
New Jersey 75.1 24.9
New Mexico 78.2 21.8
New York 75.3 24.7
North Carolina 75.1 24.9
North Dakota 76.2 23.8
Ohio 74.7 25.3
Oklahoma 71.7 28.3
Oregon 83.7 16.3
Pennsylvania 76.5 23.5
Puerto Rico 57.6 42.5
Rhode Island 76.5 23.6
South Carolina 74.9 25.1
South Dakota 77.5 22.5
Tennessee 71.4 28.6
Texas 72.8 27.2
Utah 83.5 16.6
Vermont 82.8 17.2
Virginia 77.5 22.5
Washington 81.0 19.0
West Virginia 69.0 31.0
Wisconsin 79.7 20.4
Wyoming 78.9 21.1

Percentage of adults in USA participating in the recommended 150 minutes of aerobic physical activity per week by race in 2011.

Region/State % Total All Races % White % Black % Hispanic % Other
US 51.6 54 46.4 44.3 47.7
Alabama 42.4 43.1 40.6 37.9 44.6
Alaska 57.9 62 N/A 46.5 48.5
Arizona 52.3 56.5 55.2 42.7 51.1
Arkansas 45.7 45.5 48.8 41.9 47.7
California 58.2 65.3 56.4 50 54.2
Colorado 61.8 64.8 56 52.5 56.5
Connecticut 52.6 56 46.6 36.6 43.7
Delaware 48.5 49.7 46.4 51.1 32.2
District of Columbia 57.6 70.3 48.8 45.7 60.9
Florida 52.8 57.5 43.2 45.8 53.4
Georgia 50.7 53.4 48.3 36.7 50
Hawaii 58.5 66.1 N/A 56 52.7
Idaho 57.2 57.9 N/A 48.4 53.8
Illinois 51.7 53.8 49.1 45.9 43.3
Indiana 46 46.4 43.9 39.6 49.7
Iowa 47.6 48 54.5 37.7 43.7
Kansas 46.8 48.1 39.1 37.4 47.4
Kentucky 46.8 47.4 38.8 52.1 44.6
Louisiana 42 43.6 39.8 36.8 30.4
Maine 56.7 56.9 47.1 57.3 55.5
Maryland 48.7 50.9 44.7 47.1 44.1
Massachusetts 56.3 58.4 54.4 44.1 47.3
Michigan 53.5 55.4 44.3 44.1 53.4
Minnesota 54 55.4 43.4 40.3 47.6
Mississippi 40 42.5 35 33.4 41.6
Missouri 49.5 50.8 43.5 39.5 45.4
Montana 55.3 55.3 N/A 49 52.8
Nebraska 49 50.6 36.5 38.1 43.1
Nevada 52.6 56.6 48.2 45.6 47.6
New Hampshire 56.1 56.7 N/A 42.9 46.7
New Jersey 53.3 56.9 50.8 43.7 47.9
New Mexico 52.2 55.5 60.4 47.3 55.5
New York 51.5 54.5 46.4 47.3 45.4
North Carolina 46.8 49.6 38.9 41.5 44.3
North Dakota 47.3 47.4 N/A 48.6 49.4
Ohio 51.6 52.4 47.5 45 47.7
Oklahoma 44.8 45.7 46.5 37.3 41.5
Oregon 61.1 62.6 N/A 52.2 56
Pennsylvania 49.4 49.9 47.6 44.6 52.9
Rhode Island 48.7 51.1 41.5 34.7 44.9
South Carolina 50 53.1 43 50.7 43.3
South Dakota 46.1 46.4 N/A 34.5 44.9
Tennessee 39 39.4 32.4 46.7 56.6
Texas 48.2 51.7 48.5 43.1 45.3
Utah 55.8 57.3 47.3 46.5 54.4
Vermont 59.2 59.6 N/A 49.5 46
Virginia 52.4 55.8 42.6 39.5 58.1
Washington 54.2 56.5 41.9 39.3 54.6
West Virginia 43 42.9 42.4 46.2 52.1
Wisconsin 57.4 58.7 47.1 43.4 52
Wyoming 53.1 54.1 N/A 44.9 50.5

Glossary of exercise related terms

  • Exercise: A type of physical activity that involves planned, structured, and repetitive bodily movement done to maintain or improve one or more components of physical fitness.
  • Light-moderate physical activities -  These activities might include moderately-paced or leisurely walking or bicycling, slow swimming or dancing, and simple gardening. This definition is available in the NHIS Interviewer’s Manual to provide clarification to respondents, but only if the interviewer is asked.
  • Metabolic Equivalent (MET) -  The MET is a unit used to estimate the amount of oxygen used by the body during physical activity. The harder the body works, the higher the MET. 1 MET = the energy (oxygen) used while sitting quietly. Any activity that burns 3 to 5.9 METs is considered moderate-intensity physical activity. Any activity that burns 6.0 METs or more is considered vigorous-intensity physical activity.
  • Occupational activity -  Activity undertaken as part of one’s employment. This does not include exercise or physical activities engaged in at employer sponsored gyms or other facilities.
  • Other physical activity topics -  Physical activity topics include knowledge of the health benefits of physical activity, engaging in physical activity for health-related reasons, receiving medical advice to exercise, availability of and participation in employer-sponsored exercise facilities, and engaging in family discussions about exercise.
  • Perceived physical activity level -  Self-perceptions of one’s own physical activity level compared with: a) other persons the same age; b) one’s own activity level at an earlier point in time; and c) the amount of physical activity considered desirable for health.
  • Physical activity -  Any bodily movement that is produced by the contraction of skeletal muscle and that substantially increases energy expenditure.
  • Physical fitness -  A set of attributes that people possess or achieve that relates to the ability to perform physical activity and is comprised of skill-related, health-related, and physiological components.
  • Strengthening activities -  Activities that require strenuous muscular contractions such as weight lifting, resistance training, push-ups, sit-ups, etc.
  • Transportation-related activity -  Physical activity undertaken for the purpose of getting from place to place, which may include walking, jogging, biking, or any other physically active method of getting from one place to another.
  • Vigorous physical activities -  These activities might include fast walking, fast bicycling, jogging, strenuous swimming or sports play, vigorous aerobic dance, or strenuous gardening. This definition is available in the Interviewer’s manual to provide clarification to respondents, but only if the interviewer is asked.

See Also

References

  1. "What is physical activity?". World Health Organization. Retrieved 2023-05-18.
  2. "Physical Activity". Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved 2023-05-18.
  3. "Physical Activity and Mental Health". Mental Health Foundation. Retrieved 2023-05-18.
  4. "Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans". U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Retrieved 2023-05-18.
  5. "Barriers to Physical Activity". Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved 2023-05-18.

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