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(SOLVED)Importance of Physical Activity Essay

(SOLVED)Importance of Physical Activity Essay

Importance of Physical Activity Essay

Physical activity is an important health determinant. Its critical role in energy balance and weight control, as well as in lowering the risks of coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, colon cancer, breast cancer, and depression, is well understood. However, in today’s fast-paced world, people rarely incorporate physical activity into their daily routines. As a result, non-communicable diseases are on the rise worldwide.

Even Mauritius is not immune to the growing concern about diseases. Undeniably, Mauritians’ health has improved compared to the past, with more resources available to combat once-fatal diseases. As a result, life expectancy has increased, and the trend is that more people are starting at 65, with the balance shifting in favor of the female population. The main issue that Mauritius is currently dealing with is non-communicable diseases. Diabetes, hypertension, kidney failure, heart problems, and problems related to smoking and alcohol are all consequences of the new lifestyle.

Review of the literature
Physical activity is defined as any skeletal muscle movement that requires energy expenditure.

Regular moderate-intensity physical activity is good for your health. It can, for example, lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, colon and breast cancer, and depression. Other advantages include a lower risk of hip and vertebral fractures and weight control.

Physical Activity Types
The four major types of physical activity are aerobic, muscle-strengthening, bone-strengthening, and stretching.

Aerobic Exercise
Aerobic exercise is good for the heart and lungs. Large muscles, such as those in your arms and legs, are the most frequently used. Aerobic activity includes running, swimming, walking, biking, dancing, and jumping jacks. Aerobic activity is also referred to as endurance activity.

Aerobic exercise raises the heart rate. During this type of activity, the person also breathes more heavily. Regular aerobic activity strengthens and improves the heart and lungs over time.

Muscle-strengthening exercise
Muscle-strengthening activities increase muscle strength, power, and endurance. Muscle-strengthening activities include pushups and situps, lifting weights, climbing stairs, and digging in the garden.

Muscles push against the bones as the feet, legs, or arms support the body’s weight during bone-strengthening activities. This contributes to bone strength. Bone-strengthening activities include running, walking, jumping rope, and lifting weights.

Muscle and bone strengthening activities can also be aerobic if they cause the heart and lungs to work harder than usual. Running, for example, is both an aerobic and bone-strengthening activity.

Stretching increases flexibility and the ability to move joints fully. Stretching can be done by touching one’s toes, doing side stretches, or doing yoga exercises. (AHA,2013)

Aerobic Activity Intensity Levels
Aerobic activity can be done at three levels of intensity: light, moderate, and vigorous. Aerobic activity of moderate to vigorous intensity is better for the heart than light activity. However, even light activity is preferable to no activity at all.

The level of intensity is determined by how hard you must work to complete the activity. People who are less fit must usually work harder to complete an activity than those who are fitter. As a result, what one person considers light-intensity activity may be considered moderate-intensity by another.

Activities of Low and Moderate Intensity
Light-intensity activities are everyday tasks that do not require much effort. Moderate-intensity activities place additional strain on the heart, lungs, and muscles.

Moderate-intensity activity receives a 5 or 6 on a scale of 0 to 10. It causes noticeable increases in heart rate and breathing rate.

High-Intensity Activities
Vigorous-intensity activity is a 7 or 8 on a scale of 0 to 10. A person engaged in vigorous activity cannot say more than a few words without pausing for a breath.

Aerobic Activities Examples
Aerobic activities are illustrated below. They can be light, moderate, or vigorous in intensity, depending on your level of fitness:
Gardening activities that raise your heart rate, such as digging or hoeing
Walking, hiking, jogging, and running are all examples of physical activities.
Swimming laps or water aerobics
Bicycling, skateboarding, rollerblading, and rope jumping
Aerobic dancing and ballroom dancing
Tennis, soccer, hockey, and basketball are all popular sports.
Many technological advances and conveniences have made our lives easier and less active in the modern era. However, other factors influence physical activity participation. Transportation, social capital, and time constraints, for example, all contribute to low physical activity levels. (2006) (Zlot et al.). Physical activity is highly recommended for adults, and those between the ages of 18 and 64 should engage in at least 150 minutes of moderately intense physical activity per week, or at least 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week, or an equivalent combination of moderate and vigorous activity. (WHO,2013).

Unfortunately, according to the Mauritius noncommunicable diseases survey 2009, only 16.5% of Mauritians (10.9% of women and 23.2% of men) engaged in enough vigorous or moderate physical activity to meet national guidelines of 150 minutes per week. 56% (65.8% of women and 45.7% of men) said they did no moderate or vigorous physical activity during their leisure time.

According to the NCD survey 2009, the prevalence of type 2 diabetes in Mauritius aged 20-74 years was 21.3%: 21.9% in men and 20.6% in women. The prevalence of hypertension was 37.9%, with women accounting for 35.4% and men accounting for 40.5%. Obesity had a 16.0% age and gender standardized prevalence: 11.3% in men and 20.5% in women (Mauritian adult population aged 25 -74 years). Compared to the NCD 2004, the preliminary results of the 2004 NCD Survey show that the age-standardized prevalence of diabetes in the Mauritian population aged 20-74 years was 15.0% (15.0% in males and 15.1% in females). In 2004, the prevalence of hypertension in participants aged 20 to 74 years (based on the Census year 2000 population) was 24.2% in men, 22.8% in women, and 23.1% in both sexes. In 2004, the age-standardized prevalence of obesity in adults aged 20-74 years was 5.6% in men and 13.7% in women, for a total prevalence of 10.3%.

Adults in Mauritius are not getting enough physical activity, while type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and obesity are on the rise.

The significance of the physical activity
The advantages of physical activity are widely acknowledged.

Exercise benefits the cardiovascular and respiratory systems.
Moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity strengthens the heart muscle regularly. The ability of the heart to pump blood to the lungs and throughout your body is improved as more blood flows to your muscles and the oxygen levels in your blood rise.

Capillaries also dilate. This allows them to deliver more oxygen to your body and transport waste away.

Physical activity lowers the risk factors for coronary heart disease (CHD)
Regular moderate- to vigorous-intensity aerobic activity can reduce the risk of CHD. CHD is a disease in which plaque accumulates inside the coronary arteries. These arteries deliver oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle.

Plaque narrows the arteries, reducing blood flow to the heart muscle. An area of plaque can eventually rupture. A blood clot can form on the plaque’s surface.

When a clot grows large enough, it can completely or partially block blood flow through a coronary artery. A heart attack may occur as a result.

Certain characteristics, conditions, or habits may put you at risk for CHD. Physical activity can aid in the management of some of these risk factors because it:

Blood pressure and triglyceride levels may be reduced.
It has the potential to increase HDL cholesterol levels.
Maintaining blood glucose and insulin levels lowers your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
C-reactive protein levels are reduced (CRP). This protein indicates inflammation. High CRP levels may indicate an increased risk of CHD.
Combined with a low-calorie diet can help reduce overweight and obesity. Physical activity also aids in the long-term maintenance of a healthy weight.
It can assist people in quitting smoking. Cigarette smoking is a major risk factor for CHD.
Inactive people are nearly twice as likely as physically active people to develop CHD. According to studies, activities like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking are major risk factors for CHD.

Physical activity lowers the risk of having a heart attack.
Aerobic exercise done regularly improves heart function in people with CHD. It also reduces the risk of a second heart attack in people who have already had one.

Vigorous aerobic exercise may be unsafe for people with CHD.

Physical activity improves mental health.
Physical activity relieves tension, anxiety, depression, and anger.

Exercise increases the flow of oxygen to the brain, which directly affects it. Physical activity can help you improve your mental acuity and memory.

Physical activity promotes physical well-being.
improved immunity

It boosts your immune system and lowers your risk of developing cancer and heart disease.

Risk factors have been reduced.

Increasing physical activity can reduce blood pressure by 4 to 9 mm Hg. That is the same blood pressure reduction provided by some antihypertensive medications. Physical activity can also increase your good cholesterol levels.

AHA physical activity recommendations Recommendation
At least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity five days a week for 150 minutes.


75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity, at least three times per week; or a combination of the two


Moderate to high-intensity muscle-strengthening activity is at least two days per week for added health benefits.

Inactivity on the physical front
Physical inactivity has been identified as the fourth leading cause of global mortality, accounting for an estimated 3.2 million deaths worldwide.

Physical inactivity is responsible for 6% of all deaths worldwide. This is followed by high blood pressure (13%), tobacco use (9%), and high blood glucose (6%).

Furthermore, physical inactivity is the primary cause of approximately 21-25% of breast and colon cancers, 27% of diabetes, and 30% of the burden of ischaemic heart disease. (WHO)

In 2008, approximately 31% of adults aged 15 and up were insufficiently active globally (men 28% and women 34%). Inadequate physical activity is responsible for approximately 3.2 million deaths each year.

In 2008, the WHO Regions of the Americas and the Eastern Mediterranean had the highest prevalence of insufficient physical activity. In both regions, nearly 50% of women were insufficiently active, while 40% of men were insufficiently active in the Americas and 36% in the Eastern Mediterranean. The lowest percentages were found in the South East Asian Region (15% for men and 19% for women). Men were more active than women in all WHO Regions, with the greatest disparity between the sexes in the Eastern Mediterranean. This was also true in almost every country. inactivity/en/y.

Cardiovascular disease and physical inactivity
The world’s increasing urbanization and mechanization have reduced physical activity levels. According to the World Health Organization, more than 60% of the global population is insufficiently active.

Regardless of inherited risk factors, physical activity will increase your life span. Physical activity protects against various chronic health problems, including cardiovascular disease, at any age.

Physical activity safeguards you by regulating weight and improving your insulin utilization. Being physically active benefits your blood pressure, blood lipid levels, blood glucose levels, blood clotting factors, blood vessel health, and inflammation, a powerful promoter of cardiovascular disease.

According to studies, engaging in more than 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) of moderate physical activity or an hour of vigorous physical activity per week reduces your risk of coronary heart disease by about 30%.

Physical inactivity has far-reaching consequences.

More of us are obese.

Obesity/overweight among adults (and children) continues to rise: 68% of all adults are obese or overweight.

It is more difficult to develop an active lifestyle nowadays.

People are becoming less active due to technological advancements and improved mass transportation.

Sedentary jobs have grown 83% since 1950, while physically active jobs now account for only 25% of our workforce. That is half of what it was in 1950.

Our work week is longer on average. Americans work 47 hours per week, 164 hours more than 20 years ago.

Extra pounds cost us both physically and financially.

Obesity costs American businesses $225.8 billion in lost productivity yearly due to health issues.

The average annual healthcare cost exceeds $3,000 per person. An obese employee costs an employer an additional $460 to $2,500 per year in medical costs and sick days.

Previous studies have been conducted to assess high school students’ attitudes toward physical activity. According to a 2010 study conducted by Lovell among non-exercising female students in the United Kingdom, the greatest perceived benefit from exercise was physical performance, followed by psychological outlook, preventive health, life enhancement, and social interaction. Physical exertion was rated significantly higher than time expenditure, exercise milieu, and family discouragement barriers as the most significant perceived barrier to exercise.

Daskapan conducted another study in 2006, this time focusing on Turkish university students. The sample’s current exercise habits and perceived barriers to physical activity were assessed. Participants responded to an instrument with 12 items representing barriers to physical activity using a Likert Type scale. The mean scores were calculated. External barriers outweighed internal barriers in importance. “Lack of time due to a busy lesson schedule,” “My parents prioritize academic success over exercise,” and “Lack of time due to responsibilities related to the family and social environment” was the most frequently mentioned barriers to physical activity.

Allison conducted a study in 1999 to assess perceived barriers to physical activity among high school students at Metropolitan School in Toronto. The findings revealed that time constraints due to schoolwork, other interests, and family activities were three of the four most significant barriers. Female students perceived more barriers to physical activity than male students. The analysis revealed two empirically distinct and theoretically significant factors: perceived internal and external barriers. Perceived internal barriers predicted physical activity in both overall activity and activity outside of school. Perceived external barriers predicted overall physical activity and other school activity, but in the opposite direction that was hypothesized.

It was determined that perceived barriers might only predict physical activity participation among high school students under certain conditions.

There has been no study of the young population in Mauritius to date. To combat the rise in noncommunicable diseases afflicting Mauritius, it is critical to identify the factors preventing young adults, particularly future graduates, from meeting the national guidelines of 150 minutes of physical activity per week. On the same wavelength, this research aims to identify the barriers preventing students from participating in physical activity. The current study’s findings will aid in investigating students’ motivations for physical exercise and the challenges they face in participating in regular physical exercise. The findings can help policymakers develop effective health strategies for promoting physical activity at the university level.
Importance of Physical Activity Essay

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