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Lifestyle and the Role of Exercise for Health.

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Brendan King April 2003 Lifestyle and the Role of Exercise for Health Allied Dunbar National Fitness Survey The Research: The Allied Dunbar National Fitness Survey was the first survey (and has yet to be repeated) to have measured on a statistically reliable basis the physical activity patterns and fitness levels of the English population. The Great Britain Sports Council and the Health Education Authority commissioned it jointly to assist government and other agencies involved in sport and health promotion to develop policies and set targets in this important area of public policy. It was also designed to raise public awareness of the contribution an active lifestyle can make to fitness and health. A total of 4,316 adults of all ages were surveyed and a significant proportion received a physical appraisal and carried out a range of fitness tests. Measurements included: * levels of participation in sport and active recreation, current and past * physical activity at work, in housework, DIY and gardening, walking, cycling and stair-climbing * other lifestyle and health related behaviours * current health status and history of illness * sports related injuries * knowledge about exercise and attitudes * psychological variables including well-being, social support, stress and anxiety * body measurements (height, weight, skinfold thickness and hip girths) ...read more.


What these people don't realise sometimes is that the health requirements for normal people are designed exactly for those types of people - normal, regardless of where you work and the environment that you work in. Government guidelines have been introduced to help define health and provide a template for the amount of exercise required to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The first statement is based on personal opinion, whereas the second is based on fact. A personal opinion can be influenced by self-confidence, image or their sociological background. Those people that feel comfortable within themselves may not feel the need to exercise as often to help promote weight loss, etc. Therefore, people's ideas of themselves being 'physically active' differ. It is widely recognised that leading an active lifestyle - by that complying to government guidelines (a minimum of 20 minutes moderate intensity exercise per day) - reduces the risk of bad health. Frequent exercise promotes effective and efficient bodily functions, and has been proven to reduce the risk of diseases such as diabetes, obesity and CHD. Exercise must also be coupled with a balanced diet which complements their lifestyle. ...read more.


Whilst people are generally spending more time at home, because of the fast-paced days they have, they use their time to relax, quite often again involving ready-made meals and microwaveable TV dinners. Both fitness and health can mean different things to different people. One person's good health may be another's restricted view on the situation. E.g. would a disabled person be considered healthy even though within their own capacity their body is functioning to its full capability? Equally so, a diabetic person may well be 'physically fit', but disease - of which diabetes is one - is construed as a detriment to health. Health and fitness usually come hand in hand - you cannot have one without the other. A good level of fitness leads to good health, adversely bad health would limit any physical exertions and therefore reduces a person's fitness levels. Fitness levels deteriorate with age, as can health; therefore older people are often seen as unhealthy. But again, according to their physical limitations, they, in perspective, would out perform many physically active adults, or those who perceive themselves to be (as the quote within the Allied Dunbar National Fitness Survey suggests). 1 ...read more.

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