Epidemiological and clinic evidence state that chronic non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are emerging from four lifestyle risk factors: unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, tobacco and alcohol use (3). For a long time, physical activity has shown to be effective in preventing various diseases and disabilities. Inactive person is a big volunteer to develop some kind of non-communicable disease – cardiovascular diseases, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases, diabetes and many more. Regarding inactivity prevalence, it is responsible for almost as many deaths as smoking cause to happen, with 5.3 million deaths worldwide, moreover it increases the risk of obesity, certain types of cancer and diabetes (1). Research show that 16 million people die before the age of 70 of non-communicable diseases, which only confirm the fact that a lot of people are not active enough (2). However, there are other lifestyle factors responsible for NCDs, such as, alcohol and tobacco use, unhealthy diet, living conditions, which are all lifestyle choices that significantly effect health.
Physical activity is one of the best ways to prevent, and in some cases to treat, NCD’s and other kind of diseases such as, cardiovascular diseases, metabolic syndrome, stress, hypertension, osteoporosis, depression, osteoarthritis and many more. It even can replace medications used for treatment of some kind of diseases, for example, exercises has been shown to treat depression just as well as anti-depression medication without side effects that medication might bring (4). Sadly, exercise is rarely prescribed to treat this kind of problem, in fact a lot of health problems that can be treated naturally are treated by prescribed drugs. However some people are afraid to do some sort of physical activity because they might get hurt. But there is a lot of physical activity forms that is recognized as safe, for example, brisk walking, moderate aerobic workouts, etc... Another factor which influence the level of physical activity is environment. Build environment and infrastructure showed its possible effects on people’s health choices (5). However, many people are seeking for the easiest way to treat diseases. It’s always easier to take a pill than to change lifestyle choices.
1. Alberto J Alves, João L Viana, Suiane L Cavalcante, Nórton L Oliveira, José A Duarte, Jorge Mota, José Oliveira, Fernando Ribeiro (2016). Physical activity in primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease: Overview updated. World Journal of Cadriology.
2. World Health Organization (2015). Noncommunicable diseases.
3. Rosaria Varì, Beatrice Scazzocchio, Antonio D’Amore, Claudio Giovannini, Sandra Gessani, Roberta Masella (2016). Gender-related differences in lifestyle may affect health status. Monographic section.
4. James A. Blumenthal, Michael A. Babyak, P. Murali Doraiswamy, Lana Watkins, Benson M. Hoffman, Krista A. Barbour, Steve Herman, W. Edward Craighead, Alisha L. Brosse, Robert Waugh, Alan Hinderliter, Andrew Sherwood (2007). Exercise and Pharmacotherapy in the Treatment of Major Depressive Disorder. HHS Public Access.
5. Adam Drewnowski, Anju Aggarwal, Wesley Tang, Philip M. Hurvitz, Jason Scully, Orion Stewart, Anne Vernez Moudon (2016). Obesity, diet quality, physical activity, and the built environment: the need for behavioral pathways. BioMed Central.