Working out the American work-out
You cannot escape the health warnings about not exercises, but it sometimes seems many people manage to! Managing obesity and heart disease and joint problems through exercise is the biggest challenge facing public health organisations across the world. The work being done in America is quite interesting in two ways: the inactivity epidemic there is very significant; and there is a lot of research and studies being done in the area.
It was noted that walking is the most commonly reported physical activity by adults in the US, and so it is apt that resources are focused on that. The interesting thing about the study (read it here) is that overall walking has increased from 55.7% to 62.0% in five years. There is however a catch that makes this statistic less impressive – walking was defined as at least one bout of 10 minutes or more in the preceding 10 days. That is hardly a long walk, but it must not be knocked, as it is better than nothing, and provides a basis for future public health campaigns. The conclusions drawn are that communities should be developing environments that are conducing to further promoting this most popular exercise and increasing the amount that people do. Simply, this can include pedestrian-friendly streets, increasing access to open spaces and maximising land-use policies.
Considering the guideline of 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity, there is still a lot more for public health campaigns to do