‘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.

Introduction, Definitions, and Plan of the Book

Introduction, definitions, and plan of the book

Generally speaking, all parts of the body which have a function if used in moderation and exercised in labors to which each is accustomed, become healthy and well developed, and age slowly but if unused and left to idle, they become liable to disease defective in growth, and age quickly.


Throughout virtually all of human history, physical activity was an inevitable part of people's days. When they wanted to go somewhere, they walked. When they wanted to move something from one place to another, they carried it. It required effort to gather, grow, or hunt food. Almost all forms of work required physical exertion or movement of some kind.

Most people sought relief from ...

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