27 Feb 2023

Become a Healthier Person: less illness and more quality of life

Health Zone

Sedentary Behaviour: A Global Pandemic

Despite the well-known health benefits of maintaining regular physical activity, physical inactivity remains a global pandemic, identified as a major contributor to premature death.

An integrated and comprehensive view of activity and inactivity [adapted from, Hill K, Gardiner PA, Cavalheri V, Jenkins SC, Healy GN. Physical activity and sedentary behaviour: Applying lessons to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Intern Med J. 2015]:


Evidence continues to accumulate of the inverse relationship between regular exercise activity and premature mortality, stroke (CVD) /coronary artery disease (CAD), hypertension, osteoporosis, Type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, obesity, 13 types of cancer (breast, bladder, rectal, head and neck, colon, myeloma, myeloid leukemia, endometrial, gastric cardia, kidney, lung, liver, esophageal adenocarcinoma), depression, functional declines in health and cognitive function. For many of these diseases and health conditions, there is strong evidence of an dose-response relationship with physical activity.

Country prevalence of insufficient physical activity in men in 2016 [Worldwide trends in insufficient physical activity from 2001 to 2016, Lancet Global Health 2018]:


Country prevalence of insufficient physical activity in women in 2016  [Worldwide trends in insufficient physical activity from 2001 to 2016, Lancet Global Health 2018]:


Overall 27.5% of adults are physically inactive, i.e. they do not perform the physical activity recommended for their age.

For this study, represented in the figures above, it was taken into account that insufficient physical activity means: not doing at least 150 min of moderate-intensity, or 75 min of vigorous-intensity physical activity per week, or any equivalent combination of the two.

Also according to the ACSM, to achieve substantial health benefits:

  • All adults should engage in at least 150-300min of moderate-intensity or 75-150min of vigorous-intensity physical activity per week.


Benefits of regular physical activity:

  • Improvement in Cardiovascular and Respiratory Function;
  • Reduction in Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors
  • Decreased Morbidity and Mortality
  • Other Benefits:
    • Decreased anxiety and depression;
    • Improved cognitive function;
    • Enhanced physical function and independente living in older individuals;
    • Enhanced feelings of well-being;
    • Enhanced quality of life;
    • Improved sleep quality and efficiency;
    • Enhanced performance of work, recreational, and sport activities;
    • Reduced risk of falls and injuries from falls in older individuals;
    • Prevention or mitigation of functional limitations in older adults;

Summary of recommended levels of physical activity:



The Secret Formula: Physical Activity and a Balanced Diet

As escolhas que fazemos hoje determinam um futuro melhor.

The choices we make today determine a better future.

Physical activity levels recommended to reduce chronic disease and mortality risks may not be sufficient to prevent or reverse weight gain and/or obesity. However, regular physical activity beyond the recommended minimum combined with proper nutrition can manage and/or prevent these effects.

Eating a healthy diet and exercising can often help control or delay health issues associated with aging, such as high blood pressure and diabetes.

Setting short-term goals to achieve and maintain a healthy diet and exercise routinely are key to reducing disease risk and increasing longevity.

Reducing chronic disease through physical activity and nutrition:



5 priority tips that you should keep every day:


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