‘This is timely and will be of special interest to health service managers and members of primary care groups because the successful promotion of regular physical activity is a challenge contained in the strategy of Our Healthier Nation and is a candidate for incorporation into health improvement programmes and the service framework for coronary heart disease’ — Health Service Journal This crisply written and thought-provoking book integrates theories and studies from several disciplines to examine what is known about physical activity and health.

Defining and Measuring Physical Activity
Defining and measuring physical activity

Section Introduction

Physical activity, as we have shown in Part 2, has many important physical and mental health benefits, as well as some health risks. Although it has many biological effects, physical activity is a behavior. This section begins the emphasis on the “behavioral” aspects of behavioral epidemiology. Because the behavior of physical activity is shown to be strongly related to health, the next step is to focus on identifying and measuring health-related behaviors, and this allows us to determine who is active enough and who is not.

Health authorities in industrialized countries such as the United States, England, and Australia have developed physical activity recommendations that are being promulgated as part of national health promotion strategies. ...

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