Impacts of physical activity on health


The majority of adults meet the current federal physical activity recommendations of 150 minutes per week where 10 minutes of vigorous activity can count toward this total. For children 8-13 years of age, 60 minutes per day can meet the guidelines.

Aerobic exercise

A sunset over a grassy field with trees in the background

The benefits of aerobic exercise are that it helps with weight management and decreases risk factors for developing chronic diseases. Aerobic activities include anything that involves rhythmic movements using large muscle groups, at a moderate intensity level for an extended period. This includes activities such as walking, biking, jogging, and swimming.

Aerobic exercises require a person to participate for a minimum of 20-30 minutes three or four times per week.

Resistance exercises

A close up of food on a table

The benefits of resistance exercise are that it builds muscle mass, increases bone mineral density, decreases the risk for developing chronic diseases. Resistance activities include any activity that uses the resistance of one’s body weight, bands, or other weights to build strength and tone muscles. These types of exercises can range from yoga to pushups so long as they are performed at a moderate to high-intensity level for 30 minutes per day, three times per week.

Standing vs sitting

For individuals who work desk jobs, it is beneficial to stand and walk for one hour while working and sit down the other hour. This allows an individual’s energy expenditure to remain near that of taking a brisk walk.

Fidgeting and breaks for sitting

Physical activity can also take place on a smaller level such as fidgeting, standing up and sitting down, and taking short breaks throughout the day to go on a quick walk around the office. Studies have shown that these activities expend energy for an individual resulting in better health benefits compared to sitting for hours on end without breaks to move.

Physical activity guidelines for adults and children

The daily physical activity guidelines for adults are at least 150 minutes per week where 10 min can be done at a vigorous intensity level. The weekly guidelines recommend either strength training two to three times per week or both aerobic and resistance training exercises two to three times per week. For children 8-13 years of age, they need 60 min per day. This can include aerobic activities for 30 minutes at a vigorous intensity level or both aerobic and resistance training exercises for 15 min each, with strength increasing over time.

The benefits of physical activity

The benefits of physical activity are incredible but when time constraints don’t allow us to get in our recommended daily 10,000 steps, resistance training is a great alternative to help with muscle strength and bone health. Keep in mind that when you are doing your exercises, it is important to maintain good form, and if it hurts during the exercise, either lower the intensity level or stop completely.

The negative impacts of physical activity

On the other hand, there are possible negative impacts of physical activity such as injuries and boredom when it is not done in moderation. If an individual has underlying medical conditions such as heart disease, they should consult with their physician before beginning a wellness program that includes exercise. Physical activity can be unsafe for those with certain conditions such as heart disease, asthma, and high blood pressure.

If an individual wants to start a physical activity program they should first consult with their physician before beginning this type of wellness program. Individuals must find something that they enjoy because this will allow them to maintain the activity over time. If someone finds an activity

Subscribe to our monthly Newsletter
Subscribe to our monthly Newsletter