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Physical Activity and Health

Prior to 1900, virtually every aspect of life, including transportation, work, food preparation, and caring for one's property required physical exertion or movement. However, beginning with the Industrial Revolution, an immense number of inventions have provided convenience and relief from physical effort. This has created an environment in which people can be almost completely sedentary on any given day. This changed environment has unintended consequences as we are now beginning to fully understand the negative impact a sedentary lifestyle can have on health.

The benefits of physical activity (PA) have been extolled throughout Western history, but it was not until the latter half of the 20th century that scientific evidence supporting these beliefs began to accumulate. A significant amount of this evidence has come from prospective ...

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