Determinants of Physical Activity

Essay by djbrittasUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, May 2006

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Physical activity, as defined by the Weight-control Information Network (WIN) website, is 'Any form of exercise or movement. Physical activity may include planned activity such as walking, running, basketball, or other sports' National Institute of Health (2002). They go on to say 'It is recommended that adults get at least 30 minutes and children get at least 60 minutes of moderate physical activity most days of the week', and even though in a school aged group of people participation is about 95%, it drops rapidly to only 30% in the 65 and older aged group. Also around 50% of the UK population do not take part in any physical activity, National Statistics (2001). It has been shown that people who lead a sedentary lifestyle are much more likely to suffer from coronary heart disease, obesity and can even cause death, as physical activity has been found to be one of the ten leading causes of death and disability and it is said that 'more than two million deaths each year are attributable to physical inactivity'.

Barry (2002)

Physical activity has many determinants such as the government, finance, social life, policies and environment. Disease also has a massive effect on physical activity as not only can it make the difference between life and death but can also effect the amount of physical activity an individual can undertake, which in turn affects their health.

At this point, the author feels he should highlight some diseases and health implications that arise from leading a sedentary lifestyle. Obesity is caused by a disorder in the energy balance, when the 'calorie intake exceeds the energy expenditure', Bouchard (2000). This means that if you eat too much food and do not do enough activity to burn off the calorie intake you will put on weight. 'Overall...