Health benefits of physical activity: the evidence

Warburton, Darren E. R.; Nicol, Crystal Whitney; Bredin, Shannon S. D.
March 2006
CMAJ: Canadian Medical Association Journal;3/14/2006, Vol. 174 Issue 6, p801
Academic Journal
The primary purpose of this narrative review was to evaluate the current literature and to provide further insight into the role physical inactivity plays in the development of chronic disease and premature death. We confirm that there is irrefutable evidence of the effectiveness of regular physical activity in the primary and secondary prevention of several chronic diseases (e.g., cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, hypertension, obesity, depression and osteoporosis) and premature death. We also reveal that the current Health Canada physical activity guidelines are sufficient to elicit health benefits, especially in previously sedentary people. There appears to be a linear relation between physical activity and health status, such that a further increase in physical activity and fitness will lead to additional improvements in health status.


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