Miryem Salah and Ihab Tewfik, University of Westminster, UK
Purpose: Physical activity (PA) holds a great promise in the prevention and management of non-communicable diseases, hence the importance of assessing the effectiveness of PA guidelines in health promotion strategies and public health policy. 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 guidelines (issued by the National Institute of health and Clinical Excellence [NICE]) on body fat and total cholesterol (TC) through a pilot intervention.
Design/methodology/approach: Sedentary subjects were recruited to undergo the intervention, which consisted of exercising following the NICE recommendations for adults. Body fat percentage and serum blood cholesterol were assessed before and after the intervention. The subjects were also keeping a food and physical activity diary.
Findings: Reviewed literature has endorsed the positive advantage of PA on health and wellbeing. Moreover, the pilot intervention further emphasized 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.
Originality/value: No previous intervention has assessed the impact of physical activity guidelines on serological and anthropometric measures.
Keywords: Obesity, Physical activity, NICE guidelines, Cholesterol, Body fat, Intervention