(Reuters Health) – The more people know about the benefits of exercise, the more time they're likely to spend exercising, according to an Australian study.
FILE PHOTO: Office workers train at a park in central Tokyo, Japan, on September 22, 201
Central Queensland University researchers interviewed 615 people for their understanding of the benefits of physical exploration to investigate activity and the risks of inactivity. The survey also included questions to measure the time spent in walking activity, moderate-intensity activity (eg, gentle swimming), and intense activity (eg, cycling).
Writing in PLoS One, senior author Stephanie Schoeppe and her colleagues say that regular physical activity "increases the risk of developing all-cause mortality by 30 percent and the risk of developing severe chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease by 35 percent -2-diabetes, reduced by 42 percent, (and) colon cancer by 30 percent.
They also write: "Regular physical activity also increases life expectancy. , , (and) improves overall physical health and well-being. "
And indeed, almost all respondents agreed that physical activity is good for their health.
On average, however, participants identified only 14 out of 22 illnesses associated with physical inactivity.
And the majority could not accurately assess the increased risk of illness due to inactivity.
More than half did not know how much exercise is recommended for health reasons. (Similar to the US guidelines, Australian guidelines recommend that adults between the ages of 18 to 64 have a weekly activity of at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes of intense physical activity.)
Participants were significantly more active when they were more correct Identified diseases that are associated with physical inactivity, the researchers found.
Given the knowledge gaps that emerge from their survey, health promotion initiatives should aim to raise awareness of inactivity-related diseases.
One limitation of the authors was that about three quarters of the respondents were women. Therefore, it is not clear whether the results apply to men. In addition, the study participants were not representative of the entire Australian population.
"A large proportion of Australian adults are not sufficiently active," Schoeppe wrote in an email to Reuters Health.
"For these people," she said, "the messages are:" Every physical activity is better than none "and" More physical activity improves one's health "is useful."
Ada Tang, a physical therapist and associate professor at McMaster University who was not involved in the study, told Reuters Health by email that people, even if they were willing to accept the potential risks of physical inactivity, did not would necessarily feel an immediate urgency.
"The risk of developing heart disease may seem too far in the distant future to make a person change their behavior," she said.
Tang believes that initiatives must go beyond improved public relations.
"It is important for us to find ways in which people can participate in physical activities more often and more easily," she said.
"As physical activity becomes more and more a habit, this is not considered an additional burden on their busy lives."
SOURCE: bit.ly/2Ad6BQq PLoS One, online, November 28, 2018.  Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.