NACES - World Health Organization
World Health Organization (WHO)

  • Defines physical activity as "any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that requires energy expenditure".
  • "Exercise" is
    • Planned
    • Structured
    • Repetitive
    • And purposeful in the sense that the improvement or maintenance of one or more components of physical fitness is the objectives
  • WHO: 10 facts on Physical Activity:
    • WHO Fact 1. Physical inactivity is the 4th leading risk factor for global mortality
      • Globally, 6% of deaths are attributed to physical inactivity.
        • This follows high blood pressure (13%)
        • Tobacco use (9%)
        • And is equal to high blood glucose (6%)
      • Moreover, physical inactivity is the main cause for approximately
        • 21-25% of breast and colon cancers
        • 27% of diabetes and
        • 30% of ischemic heart disease burden

    • WHO Fact 2. Regular physical activity helps to maintain a healthy body
      • Physically active persons:
        • Improve their muscular and cardio-respiratory fitness;
        • Improve their bone and functional health;
        • Have lower rates of:
          • Coronary heart disease
          • High blood pressure
          • Stroke
          • Diabetes
          • Colon and breast cancer, and
          • Depression
        • Have a lower risk of falling and of hip or vertebral fractures;
        • Are more likely to maintain their weight

    • WHO Fact 3. Physical activity should not be mistaken for "sport"
      • Physical activity is any bodily movement produced by the skeletal muscles that uses energy.
      • This includes sports, exercise and other activities such as playing, walking, doing household chores, gardening, and dancing.

    • WHO Fact 4. Both moderate and vigorous intensity physical activity bring health benefits
      • Intensity refers to the rate at which the activity is being performed. It can be thought of as "how hard a person works to do the activity".
      • The intensity of different forms of physical activity varies between people.
      • Based on one-s level of fitness, it can include:
        • Brisk walking
        • Dancing or
        • Household chores
        • Examples of vigorous physical activity
        • Running
        • Fast cycling
        • Fast swimming
        • Moving heavy loads

    • WHO Fact 5. 5-17 year olds
      • People aged 5-17 should accumulate at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity daily.
      • Amounts of physical activity greater than 60 minutes provide additional health benefits.

    • WHO Fact 6. 18-64 year olds
      • Adults aged 18-64 should do at least 150 minutes of moderately intense physical activity throughout the week
      • Or at least 75 minutes of vigorous activity throughout the week or an equivalent combination of moderate and vigorous activity.
      • In order to be beneficial for cardio-respiratory health, all activity should be performed in bouts of at least 10 minutes duration.

    • WHO Fact 7. Adults aged 65 and above
      • The main recommendations for adults and older adults are the same.
      • In addition, older adults with poor mobility should do physical activity to enhance balance and prevent falls 3 or more days per week.
      • When older adults cannot do the recommended amount of physical activity due to health conditions, they should be as physically active as their abilities and conditions allow.

    • WHO Fact 8. These recommendations are relevant to all healthy adultsc
      • Unless specific medical conditions indicate the contrary, these recommendations apply to all people, irrespective of gender, race, ethnicity or income level.
      • They also apply to individuals with chronic non-communicable conditions, not related to mobility, such as hypertension or diabetes.
      • These recommendations can be valid for adults with disabilities as well.

    • WHO Fact 9. Doing some physical activity is better than doing none
      • Inactive people should start with small amounts of physical activity and gradually increase duration, frequency and intensity over time.
      • Inactive adults, older adults and those with disease limitations will have added health benefits when they become more active.
      • Pregnant, postpartum women and persons with cardiac events may need to take extra precautions. They need to seek medical advice before striving to achieve the recommended levels of physical activity.

    • WHO Fact 10. Supportive environments and communities may help people to be more physically active
      • Urban and environmental policies can have huge potential to increase the physical activity levels in the population.
      • Examples of these policies include ensuring that:
        • Walking, cycling and other forms of active transportation are accessible and safe for all;
        • Labor and workplace policies encourage physical activity;
        • Schools have safe spaces and facilities for students to spend their free time actively;
        • Sports and recreation facilities provide opportunities for everyone to be physically active.

    WHO and Global (World) Health

      • Insufficient physical activity is a key risk factor for non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer and diabetes.
      • Physical activity has significant health benefits and contributes to prevent non-communicable diseases.
      • Globally, 1 in 4 adults is not active enough.

    • Measures of Physical Activity
      • Resistance, Flexibility, Aerobic, Balance
      • Muscle strength
      • Aerobic Capacity
      • Balance
      • General Health
      • Vitality
      • Fatigue


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