Physical Inactivity, a Hidden Heath Threat

Physically Inactivity- A Hidden Health ThreatPhysical inactivity is a highly prevalent and major public health challenge in the modern age. The increasing urbanization and mechanization of the world has reduced our levels of physical activity. The World Health Organisation has identified lack of physical activity as the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality, being directly implicated in 6% of deaths worldwide.

Facts About Physical Inactivity

  • Low levels of physical activity are a major risk factor for ill health and mortality from all causes.
  • Less active, less fit persons have higher risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Lack of physical activity can contribute to feelings of anxiety and depression.
  • Physical inactivity may raise the risk of certain cancers such as colon cancer and breast cancer.
  • People who lack physical activity have greater risk of diabetes and osteoporosis.

Physical inactivity is partly attributed to lack of participation in physical activity during leisure time and an increase in sedentary behaviour during occupational and domestic activities. In addition, utilising passive modes of transport has also been a cause of declining physical activity levels.

Urbanisation, one of the causes of physical inactivity, has led to several environmental factors which may discourage participation in physical activity. Such factors include violence, high-density traffic, low air quality, pollution, and lack of parks, sidewalks and sports or recreation facilities.

Studies say that physically active people are less likely to develop coronary heart disease than those who are sedentary, even after the researchers accounted for smoking, alcohol use, and diet.

Physically active people who are overweight and obese significantly reduced their risk for disease with physical activity.

Addressing Physical Inactivity with Prescribed Exercises

Addressing physical inactivity through prescribed exercise provides a fresh approach to the prevention and management of avoidable diseases like cancer, diabetes, heart disease and many common musculo-skeletal conditions.

According to the article, Exercise, the Miracle Cure by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, billions of pounds has been spent treating diseases such as type 2 diabetes, but this can be prevented if people spend their 30 minutes of physical activity 5 times a week.

The same article states the other benefits of regular exercise:

  • Decreased risk of breast cancer by 25% and as much as 45% decreased risk of bowel cancer
  • Decreased risk of developing dementia by 30%
  • Decreased risk of stroke by 30%
  • Decreased risk of developing heart disease by 40%

Dr. Roderick Jaques, President of the Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine UK says that exercise medicine can also provide sustainable treatment for excess weight, obesity and mental health and it has an enormous application for workplace wellness and rehabilitation.

Commission on Physical Activity says that physiotherapists and other frontline health professionals can play a central role in helping to reverse an epidemic of inactivity.

In a paper written by J.M. Frantz and R. Ngambare, it says that many health professionals including physiotherapists take health promotion as an integral part of their role. Research also shows that physically active physiotherapists are well positioned to incorporate health promotion strategies that can encourage patients to participate in physical activity.

Our team of physiotherapists in Perth takes part in combating physical inactivity. If you’re looking for help with the right kind of exercise to fight inactivity, call i Physio Perth at 9444 8729 today!