Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine

2013 Edition
| Editors: Marc D. Gellman, J. Rick Turner

Physical Activity and Health

  • Bernardine M. Pinto
  • Georita Marie Frierson
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1005-9_611



Physical activity (PA) is any body movement that leads to skeletal muscle contraction and noticeable increases in energy expenditure (US Department of Health and Human Services [USDHHS], 2008). Such activities can be walking, washing windows, or gardening.



There is strong evidence that there are greater physical, physiological, and possibly mental health benefits from a lifestyle that includes more occupational and leisure-time physical activity (PA) than a predominantly sedentary (inactive or underactive) lifestyle (USDHHS, 2008). These benefits include a risk reduction for type 2 diabetes, overweight/obesity, cardiovascular disease, stroke, high blood pressure, an adverse lipid profile, osteoporosis, sarcopenia, and loss of function and autonomy in older age. There is also a great interest in the benefits of PA for mitigating and possibly preventing cancer and its significant morbidity and mortality rates: the...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centers for Behavioral and Preventive MedicineBrown UniversityProvidenceUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologySouthern Methodist UniversityDallasUSA