Essays, poems and Stories of an African-American

Friday, 23 October 2015

Physical Activity From a Public Health Perspective

With an increasingly older population in the US, physical activity is a beneficial lifestyle factor that will contribute to functional ability, lower risk of early death, lower risk of coronary heart disease, lower risk of stroke, improve bone health, decrease body fat and contribute to reduced feelings of isolation and depression. As a positive decision for one to take, active physical activity is a form of empowerment towards making healthy lifestyles. This dovetails into one the goals of Healthy 2020: promote quality life, healthy development, and healthy behaviors across all life stages.

Physical activity is one example that showcases the benefits of interventions linking interpersonal, organizational, community and public policy. These directly impact on individuals who in turn can implement or contribute to life improving changes. If a parent with a risk of hypertension, is encouraged to engage in exercise, this will reduce on episodes of high blood pressure, stroke and diabetes. This in turn would mean less costly health care as well as being an example to the family as far as leading a healthy life goes. The inherent advantages of this kind of lifestyle and the fact that it has been documented to cause preventable mortality, made it my choice.  Physical activity is one factor that will have great impact on public health. The objectives of physical activity re-enforce my choice:

1. reduce proportion of adults who engage in no leisure-time physical activity by 32.6%. This is realistic.

2. Increase the proportion of physician office visits that include counselling or education related to physical activity.

3. Increase legislative policies for built environment that enhance access to and availability of physical activity opportunities by;

a. increasing community scale policies for built environment.

b. increasing street-scale policies for built environment.

c. increasing transportation and travel policies to enhance access.

These objectives will provide opportunities for people to engage in such efforts that prevent mortality due to inactivity. There will be a reduced risk of early death; lowers risk of coronary heart disease; lowers risk of stroke; improves bone health; decreases body fat; and a reduced tendency of isolation and depression.

1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2010). Healthy people 2020. Retrieved from
2. McLeroy, K. R., Bibeau, D., Steckler, A., & Glanz, K. (1988). An ecological perspective on health promotion programs. Health Education Quarterly, 15, 351 - 377. Retrieved from

3. Turnock, B. J. (2016). Essentials of public health (3rd ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett.

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