MIRYEM SALAH AND IHAB TEWFIK, UNIVERSITY OF WESTMINSTER, UK
Abstract: Sedentary lifestyle is an important factor in the aetiology of the obesity pandemic – ‘globesity’. This multifactorial disorder is exponentially exacerbated in developed countries by ‘the obesogenic’ environment. The latter is characterised by the lack of physical activity (PA), imbalanced diet, and modernisation shift. Other aetiological factors remain important; genetic, age, sex and ethnicity. Diet, physical inactivity combined with other environmental factors (smoking etc) are responsible for the increasing prevalence of the leading cause of deaths in United Kingdom, cardiovascular disease (CVD). This paper reviews the health outcomes that have been achieved by various physical activity intervention programmes worldwide. Additionally, it assesses the effectiveness of current PA guideline (issued by the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE)) on body fat and total cholesterol (TC) through a pilot intervention. Reviewed literature has endorsed the positive advantage of PA on health and wellbeing. Moreover, the pilot intervention further emphasised these health benefits by the reduction in TC and percentage body fat. Moderate physical exercise (at least 30 minutes five times a week) has an optimal fat oxidation capacity and notably improves cholesterol level. PA as a modifiable risk factor holds a great promise in the prevention and management of non communicable diseases, hence its importance to incorporate it in health promotion strategies and public health policy.
Keywords: Obesity; physical activity; NICE guidelines; cholesterol; body fat; intervention programmes.