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Abstract

Physical activity improves health. Different types of activity promote different types of physiologic changes and different health outcomes. A curvilinear reduction in risk occurs for a variety of diseases and conditions across volume of activity, with the steepest gradient at the lowest end of the activity scale. Some activity is better than none, and more is better than some. Even light-intensity activity appears to provide benefit and is preferable to sitting still. When increasing physical activity toward a desired level, small and well-spaced increments will reduce the incidence of adverse events and improve adherence.

Prior research on the relationship between activity and health has focused on the value of moderate to vigorous activity on top of an indefinite and shifting baseline. Given emerging evidence that light activities have health benefits and with advances in tools for measuring activities of all intensities, it may be time to shift to zero activity as the conceptual starting point for study.

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/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-publhealth-031210-101151
2011-04-21
2024-04-22
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  • Article Type: Review Article
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