The Benefits of Physical Activity and the Harms of Inactivity

Health care professionals in all specialties can make a bigger impact for the betterment of public health. They have a lot of patient contacts and opportunities to change behaviour. In England, the executive agency of their health department is seeking out GP clinical champions. The job involved educating clinicians on the benefits of physical activity in primary and secondary prevention of disease and the harms of inactivity.

The aim of Clinical Champion Program is to educate clinicians about:

  • Physical activity and its benefits
  • Harms of inactivity
  • Statistics about current inactivity
  • Exercise physiology in primary and secondary prevention
  • Making every contact count 
  • Motivational interviewing
  • Local provisions for physical activity

The Benefits of Physical Activity

Obviously, the benefit of physical activity is to burn calories while making the body stronger. However, the benefits of physical activity extend far beyond weight management and stronger body. It can also help reduce risk of numerous diseases and health conditions and improve your overall quality of life.

Many conditions affected by physical activity occur with aging, such as heart disease and cancer. Years of participating in regular physical activity can reduce risk of these conditions. Other benefits such as increased cardiorespiratory fitness, increased muscular strength, and decreased depressive symptoms and blood pressure, need only a few weeks or months of participation in physical activity.

Physical activity doesn’t necessarily need to be strenuous to be effective. You can spend just thirty minutes a day to do moderate aerobic activity. It can be a brisk walk, a swim, or even gardening. For each ten minute, your heart rate increases.

Whilst sport is well known to improve your physical fitness, getting active can also be more informal. Fitness doesn’t need to be a regime. You can enjoy through dancing as it can be as healthy as going to the gym. Activities you do everyday such as walking or cycling to the shops or workplace is a great means to get your heart pumping.

Being physically active is not just about simply moving. It means we have to build our muscle strength and motor skills. Active play is a foundation of physical, social and emotional development as you grow up. In children, good physical development is linked to other types of positive development, like speech and coordination. If you have an active childhood, you’re more likely to have an active adulthood. When you learn a skill such as swimming or riding a bike, it stays for the rest of your life.

The Harms of Inactivity

Sedentary behaviour is associated with health problems. This kind of lifestyle doesn’t just mean insufficient physical activity. It is about spending time in ways that do not use energy. Take for example sitting for long periods on the sofa while watching TV, or working in front of a computer. Sedentary activities damage your health, because it affects circulation and do not use muscles and bones. Even if you take vigorous exercise regularly, you are also at risk of the harms of inactivity.

For sedentary people out there, we encourage you to get up and be active. Exercise and have fun! There are a lot of health professionals such as physiotherapists that can help you determine the type of exercises for you. Call us today at 9444 8729!