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Publication Abstract

Authors: McKinnon RA, Bowles HR, Trowbridge MJ

Title: Engaging physical activity policymakers.

Journal: J Phys Act Health 8 Suppl 1:S145-7

Date: 2011 Jan

Abstract: Evidence for the health benefits of physical activity is overwhelming: physical activity is protective against type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, breast and colon cancer, stroke, osteoporosis, depression, falls in older adults, and many other adverse health outcomes. Research also suggests that widespread physical inactivity exacts a heavy toll on the US economy, as well as on individual health. Researchers have estimated that those who are physically inactive impose greater costs on society than do smokers or problem drinkers. Increasing rates of physical activity may therefore be one of the most cost-effective means to prevent disease, improve health outcomes, and reduce medical expenses - particularly as the US population ages. However, determining the optimal blend of intervention strategies to achieve these population-level goals is challenging. Research suggests that individually-focused efforts alone have thus far failed to sustain shifts to more active lifestyles, fueling calls for an increase in complementary physical activity-related public policy interventions.

Last Modified: 03 Sep 2013