Engaging in regular physical activity is one of the best ways to improve overall health. Physical activity can prolong life, improve quality of life, and lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, colon cancer, breast cancer, and osteoporosis. In addition, it is an important component of weight management. This article discusses the evidence and possible mechanisms behind such benefits; looks at strategies to promote physical activity both in individuals and population wide; and briefly discusses some of the potential risks linked to activity. © 2008

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopedia of Public Health
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)9780123739605
StatePublished - 2008


  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Environment
  • Health
  • Heart disease
  • Mental health
  • Physical activity


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