World Physical Activity Day is April 6

A message from Dr. Tom Best, Division Director of Sports Medicine in Family Medicine, Wexner Medical Center

Exercise is one of the top modifiable risk factors for chronic disease. Indeed, exercise produces roughly similar benefits to drugs in the secondary prevention of coronary heart disease, rehabilitation after stroke, treatment of heart failure and prevention of diabetes. In addition, exercise has recently been shown to reduce the risk of dementia and improve mental health. The required dose is modest and achievable, with evidence suggesting that moderate intensity physical activity at even a minimum of 150 minutes a week is effective.

In recognition of the importance of physical activity as the best buy for public health, World Physical Activity Day is organized by the Agita Mundo Network headquartered in South America, but we in the Northern Hemisphere have special reason to celebrate. The World Day for Physical Activity on Monday, April 6 reminds us of one way we can all improve our health with minimal cost and an array of co-benefits.

Sedentary is disease, physical activity is health! After what seemed an interminable winter, spring is returning, bringing hints of green, longer days and a bountiful set of options for healthy, active lives. As you watch your community coming to life this spring, think about how you can help your family and neighbors enjoy being a bit more active. Walking to school and ensuring everyone has access to a neighborhood park are partial answers.

  • What can you do to dial up physical activity at your workplace or house of worship?
  • What are the barriers keeping some members of your community from walking for health?