Physical inactivity is a leading cause of death worldwide and is a major risk factor for chronic diseases, such as coronary heart disease, type II diabetes and several cancers. According to the World Health Organization’s Global Action Plan on Physical Activity 2018-2030:
- “Worldwide, 1 in 4 adults, and 3 in 4 adolescents do not currently meet the global recommendations for physical activity. As countries develop economically, levels of inactivity increase and can be as high as 70%.
- The global cost of physical inactivity in 2013 was estimated to be INT$ 54 billion per year in direct health care with an additional INT$ 14 billion attributable to lost productivity.”
When considering the relationship between physical activity (PA) and non-communicable diseases (NCDs), it is clear that health care providers should be routinely advocating adequate physical activity and that health care entities should contribute to a systems-based solution. Research is needed to answer several important questions:
- How can PA counseling and referral schemes be optimally implemented as an effective component of health care practices and adapted/modified for large scale implementation in health care systems?
- What are the costs to health care systems and insurers associated with inadequate levels of physical activity in patients/covered lives?
- What are the potential health outcomes and savings involved with the integration of PA assessment, counseling and referral when integrated into health care settings?
Exercise is Medicine (EIM) is working to advance research in this area and highlight existing science. American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) scientists and clinicians share research findings and best practices annually at the EIM World Congress and ACSM Annual Meeting as well as through published works.
Learn more on the webpages below:
- Physical activity and health outcomes - prevention and treatment
- EIM Research Learning Collaborative
- Physical activity in health care – integration and cost-effectiveness