CommunityHealth Fix


HealthFix: Role of physical activity in preventing illness, injury

Posted at 10:11 AM, Oct 16, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-16 12:47:25-04

Physical activity is immensely important for an individual’s health and well-being. However, despite all of the benefits, the percentage of physically inactive adults is unbelievably high. Recent studies suggest that engaging in moderate physical activity is beneficial for the primary prevention of chronic diseases, decreases most causes of mortality, and one of the determinants for physical and psychological health.

Benefits of regular physical activity

  • Improved cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness
  • Improved overall strength
  • Reduced depression
  • Improved cognitive function
  • Improved functional health
  • Increased bone density and joint health
  • Lowered risk of hip fracture
  • Fall prevention
  • Improved symptoms from arthritis

The benefits of physical activity outweigh the risk of injury while participating in physical activity, which is a major reason many older individuals remain inactive.

Older adults who already have functional limitations benefit from regular physical activity. In the case of injury prevention, physical activity improves balance and muscle strength, which decreases the risk of falling or severe injury from a fall.

Nick Monson, D.O.
Davis Hospital and Medical Center