More benefits of physical activity

Ben de Riter
PHYSIOTHERAPIST
2
Minutes to read

In the first part of our series on the amazing benefits of physical activity we discussed brain health and its relationship with movement. In this part we are going to look at some more cool benefits that maybe you were not aware of.

Take for example this Warden et al., (2014) paper showing significant adaptation in the cross-sectional size and bone mass of the throwing arm when compared to the non-throwing of professional Major (MLB) and Minor (MiLB) League Baseball players, a perfect example of human adaptation!

Figure 1: Cross-sectional size and bone mass comparison (Warden et al., 2014).

In Australia, we find ourselves dealing with rising rates of individuals diagnosed with hypertension, this is of concern due to hypertension being a significant risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Often heard is the saying “If you could bottle the effects of physical activity we’d all be taking it”, and this rings true for the management of hypertension! With Pescatello etal., (2019) showing below the significant ability of only four months of prescribed physical activity has in lowering blood pressure in those considered both hypertensive AND  Pre-hypertensive.

Figure 2: A meta-analysis of the BP response to 4 months of aerobic exercise training among adults with normal BP, prehypertension and adapted from (Pescatello et al., 2019).

Hopefully now we’re getting the full picture that being active, moving more and lifting a bit is brilliant for our health on an individual level. What more convincing could you possibly need? How about we delve into the intersection between active transport and our ever-growing carbon footprint. Frank et al., (2009) demonstrating that “the transportation sector makes up the largest share of United States greenhouse gases (GHGs)—about one-third of the total, with much of that amount generated by routine household travel and commuting”.

Figure 3: Conceptual transport energy model (Frank et al., 2009)

Active transportation could be the solution to two problems, our growing rates of physical activity and our growing carbon emissions!

If you would like help with increasing your physical activity levels or simply don’t know where to start, we at The Biomechanics are always happy to help!

References:

Warden, Stuart J, Mantila Roosa, Sara M, Kersh, Mariana E,Hurd, Andrea L, Fleisig, Glenn S, Pandy, Marcus G, & Fuchs, Robyn K.(2014). Physical activity when young provides lifelong benefits to cortical bone size and strength in men. Proceedings of the National Academy ofSciences - PNAS111(14), 5337–5342. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1321605111

Pescatello, Linda S, Buchner, David M, Jakicic, John M,Powell, Kenneth E, Kraus, William E, Bloodgood, Bonny, Campbell, Wayne W,Dietz, Sondra, Dipietro, Loretta, George, Stephanie M, Macko, Richard F,Mctiernan, Anne, Pate, Russell R, & Piercy, Katrina L. (2019). PhysicalActivity to Prevent and Treat Hypertension: A Systematic Review. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise51(6), 1314–1323. https://doi.org/10.1249/MSS.0000000000001943

Frank, Lawrence D, Greenwald, Michael J, Winkelman, Steve,Chapman, James, & Kavage, Sarah. (2009). Carbonless footprints: Promoting health and climate stabilization through active transportation. Preventive Medicine50, S99–S105. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ypmed.2009.09.025

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