Erasmus plus - Stretching and Strengthening at Work interact

Stretching and Strengthening at Work

Poor diet

Lifestyle diseases

Physical inactivity

Alcohol use

Tobacco use

Figure 2 | The key risk factors for lifestyle diseases

Physical activity and health Being physically active appears to positively affect various health outcomes, with regular physical activity ( ≥ 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity activity) recognized as a fundamental lifestyle behavior in tackling lifestyle diseases (EU Physical Activity Guidelines , 2008; Physical Activity Guidelines to Americans , 2015; WHO , 2020). This means that an adult person should have to be active for at least 30 minutes for 5 or more times per week to gain a number of health benefits (Exercise is Medicine, 2020), including the following:  Improved bone health, contributing to the prevention of osteoporosis and fractures in older ages,  Maintained metabolic functions, healthy weight and low incidence of obesity and type 2 diabetes,  Maintained cognitive functions and lowered risk of depression and dementia,  Increased functional capacity to carry out activities of daily living at both home and work,  Decreased sick leave fromwork,  Lowered stress levels and associated improved sleep quality, and  Improved self-image and self-esteem and increased enthusiasm and optimism. TheconceptofHealthEnhancingPhysicalActivity (HEPA) iswidelyusedtodescriberecommendations on type, duration, frequency, intensity, and total amount of physical activity for health promotion and disease prevention (EU Physical Activity Guidelines , 2008; Physical Activity Guidelines to Americans , 2015; WHO , 2020). However, it appears that achieving this goal is not an easy task. Within the EU, just under one third of adults declared spending at least 150 minutes per week being physically active in 2014; physical activity decreases with age and increases with education level ( European Commission , 2018). Additionally, 46% of the Europeans say that they never exercise or play sport, while 14% only do so seldom. The prevalence of physical inactivity has major implications for the general health of the population and the prevalence of non-communicable diseases (WHO , 2020).  Reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases, including high blood pressure,  Lowered risk of certain types of cancers (e.g. breast, prostate and colon cancer),

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