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PHYSICAL ACTIVITY: A HEALTH PROMOTION STRATEGY

Jos Armando Vidarte Claros*


Consuelo Vlez lvarez**
Carolina Sandoval Cuellar***
Margareth Lorena Alfonso Mora****
* Licenciado en Educacin Fsica. Ph.D en Ciencias de la Actividad Fsica y el Deporte.
Universidad Autnoma de Manizales. Colombia. Correo
electrnico:jovida@autonoma.edu.co
** Enfermera. Ph.D en Salud Pblica. Universidad de Caldas. Colombia. Correo
electrnico: cva@autonoma.edu.co
*** Fisioterapeuta. Especialista en Ejercicio Fsico para la Salud. Especialista en
Epidemiologa. Universidad de Boyac. Colombia. Correo
electrnico:carolinasandoval@uniboyaca.edu.co
**** Fisioterapeuta. Universidad de Boyac. Colombia. Correo
electrnico:mlalfonso@uniboyaca.edu.co

Recibido en febrero 18 de 2011, aceptado en abril 25 de 2011

Abstract
Objective: this paper conceptualizes on the definition of physical activity, its prevalence and
direct
relation
with
the
strategies
developed
from
the
health
promotion
viewpoint. Methodology: scientific literature review including specialized data on health
issues (Ovid, Proquest, Hinary, Springer, among others) in which physical activity and health
promotion variables are approached as search parameters. Likewise, experts contributions
about the areas mentioned above were taken into consideration. Results: physical activity
presents definitions and judgments about the increase in energy consumption over the basal
rate as well as attitudes concerning physical activity from health, therapy, sports training and
education viewpoints. Regarding the prevalence of physical activity very low percentages of
the population are reported to practice physically activities, which become a mandatory
target to be approached from national and international bodies related to physical activity
and health promotion through effective intervention strategies which allow for the
improvement of the quality of life. Conclusions: this review allows the reader to visualize
the different approaches and topics of physical activity and its relationship with the raise of
public awareness processes, empowerment and self-regulation regarding the quality of life
of individuals and the community, with the simple aim of internalizing the practice of physical
activity as a complement to their life.

Key words
Physical education and training, prevalence, health promotion (Descriptors Decs).
INTRODUCTION
Around physical activity there are different definitions and judgments, but in general they
all revolve around the increased energy expenditure and metabolic rate above the basal
(1,2,3,4,5), which include various aspects , and variables such as age categories (6),
interest and culture to which the individual belongs.

In this article the levels of physical activity such as fitness, exercise and sport (7) are
addressed; trends that refer to physical activity from health and therapy, athletic training
and education arise, and the concept is included from authors who resume physical activity
as a personal experience, with particular interests and its relationship with intentionality
she must have (5.6).
Regarding the prevalence of physical activity, most studies report that a very low
percentage of physically inactive people; therefore, national and international entities
included within its sectoral objectives increased physical activity in all age groups (8). In
the international context, Spain has conducted studies that quantify, among other
variables, the prevalence of physical activity behavior among university students, and
found a similar pattern (9,10,11,12,13, 14).
Similarly, it references to the way the health promotion appropriates physical activity as an
efficient tool to optimize processes related to the reduction of risk factors inherent in the
sedentary lifestyle is. This represents a comprehensive social and political process, which
not only encompasses actions directed at strengthening the skills and capacities of
individuals, but also actions aimed at changing social, environmental and economic
conditions so as to alleviate their impact on health (15 ).
This allows to establish that health promotion is complementary to primary prevention,
prepares and conditions the individual and collective interventions from the activity and
physical exercise (7), and is linked to the concept of health and quality of life as a strategy
or effective intervention that improves the perception and satisfaction of individual and
collective needs (16).
METHODOLOGY
This article is a product of the process of reflection, analysis and synthesis on issues related
to the objective research developed "Predictive model of the levels of sedentary population
aged 18 to 60 years: Colombian Multicenter Study 2011-2012". To this list of interesting
topics and keywords within which was developed are: physical activity, sedentary lifestyle,
health promotion, prevalence of physical activity and quality of life, in order to advance a
search for scientific articles which more than 1,580 articles published between 1990 and
2009. This search was ahead in databases such as Proquest, Latin American and Caribbean
Literature in Health Sciences (LILACS), Ovid, Hinary and Medline were obtained, as well as
the contributions of experts in the field of physical and health promotion activity. They were
established as a criterion for exclusion of articles published in languages other than English,
Spanish and Portuguese literature and articles and gray literature.
THEORETICAL REFLECTIONS ON: PHYSICAL ACTIVITY, PREVALENCE OF PHYSICAL
ACTIVITY AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AS A STRATEGY FOR HEALTH PROMOTION

Physical activity

Physical activity is resumed from health promotion through the intervention of professionals in
this area, health and educational institutions as a means of contributing key advocate in obtaining
significant results in favor of the development and improvement of the quality of life (1).

The World Health Organization considers it a factor in the health status of individuals, and defined
as the main strategy in the prevention of obesity understood as "any bodily movement produced
by skeletal muscles and produce an energy expenditure above basal metabolic rate. It includes
daily routine activities such as household chores and work. " Also within this concept it involves
activities that require some degree of effort as, for example, brushing teeth, getting from one
place to another to meet the needs, clean the house, wash the car, make a sport of high
performance and many other than humans done daily (1).
The Pan American Health Organization in its Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health
states that physical activity is linked to the concept of health and quality of life as an effective
strategy or intervention that improves the perception, the level of satisfaction individual and
collective needs and recognized the benefits it brings from the biological, psychosocial and
cognitive as well as being a protective factor to prevent, in general, the establishment of chronic
diseases (17).
Sports Medicine Association of Colombia (AMEDCO) conceptualized physical activity as any body
movement of voluntary muscle contraction, with greater energy expenditure at rest; Moreover,
this activity is understood as an autonomous complex human behavior, voluntary and components
and determinants of biological and psycho-socio-cultural order, which produces an array of health
benefits, exemplified by sports, exercise, dancing and certain activities recreation and everyday
activities, which are considered as a fundamental right (2), conceptualization evidence integrating
contextual elements that today are considered of great importance for addressing physical
activity.
Other authors define as "any body movement produced by skeletal muscle system which results in
energy expenditure. In this concept framed in the biological field would have to add the features
of personal experience and cultural practice. In this way the activity It has various aspects as
physical labor or domestic purposes, practice time, as recreational playful, from the educational
field, none of the above is exclusive of the formation of people "(3).
Physical activity is a concept that encompasses any body movement by skeletal muscles that
results in energy expenditure, which is present in everything a person does 24 hours a day, except
sleep or rest; therefore, we can distinguish patterns: activities necessary for the maintenance of
life and activities that aim to have fun, interact, improve health and fitness, and to compete (4).
Since the scope of the functionality depends on the stage of life in which the individual is located;
for example, in the beginning is the game, in youth sports, while in adulthood these experiences
are combined in different forms of expression and physical and mental development. Physical
activity has the ability to directly reduce the risk factors of chronic diseases and catalyze positive
change with respect to other risk factors for these diseases.
An important position that defines and classifies physical activity was performed by the American
College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), which states that once the individual moves voluntarily,
increases your metabolism as a result of muscle activity, so that is already performing a physical
activity that becomes the basis of the intensity levels thereof (18). From this perspective, getting
up and walking are exactly the same physical activity severely limited both as an athlete with heart
disease, but with the difference that the cardiac patient for this activity represents 100% of its

capacity, while for the athlete not more than 10% (7). The level continues to physical activity is
exercise, in which a physical activity program that features scheduled and ongoing objectives, for
which the exercise prescription is needed is included; this is where the fitness, taken as the final
level of sport that has the same components of the exercise, but with variables of competition,
which is also regulated and occupational (19,20, 21) is included.
Physical activity is conceived as any intentional movement made by skeletal muscles resulting in
energy expenditure and a personal experience that lets you interact with others and the
environment around us. This definition highlights two key elements: the intention and the
environment surrounding the subject, which are taken up in the proposed Correa, who believes
that when referring to physical activity should start from that is a polysemic concept for its
diversity of meanings, manifestations and epistemological reference (5). The author takes up the
statement made by Prieto et al., Who conceived physical activity from a broad perspective of
human action, which becomes perceptual-motor experience of exploration and appreciation of
the world and reality around us.
Therefore, the author shows that the fact of being constantly active or moving provides a
necessary amount of life experiences or experiences that contribute to the construction of social
subject, as it allows the development of motor patterns are based intentioned for the interaction
of individuals in any society (5). Physical activity in this perspective is understood as that
experience of life that expresses action and awareness of the body moving as it looks on people
and communities greater opportunities for expression of individual and collective movement or
activity, and achieved positive treatment against the life of an individual and a social group (5).
Physical activity is interrelated with other activities (art culture, cinema, theater, music, etc.)
aimed at improving the quality of life in a predominantly urban society (22). The lack of physical
activity, compounded by other harmful habi-tos of contemporary lifestyle (sobrealimentacin,
smoking, stress, inadequate use of leisure time, drug addiction, etc.), has unleashed the second
epidemiologic revolution, marked by the predominance chronic degenerative diseases on acute
infectious diseases (23).
Conceptualizations raised about physical activity lead to take his approach from the following
trends: first, from health and therapeutic; second, from sports training, and third, from education.
Since the first trend, physical activity is addressed through programs and actions to improve and
maintain the health of the population; from the second, it takes it into account as part of the
development of conditional motor and coordinative abilities of the athlete who will allow
achieving the goals, and from the third, physical activity is treated as the possibility of acquisition
of securities that allow proper development of physical culture.
Physical activity, from health and therapeutics, has now become an ideal element to prevent some
diseases in its appearance or in its development, to combat the consequences or how it affects the
quality of life some diseases. In this perspective and to address this first category of analysis is
important to review some aspects concerning health and public health. Addressing health implies
recognizing the vital relationship between the man and the process group with the objective and
subjective components that manifest themselves in different practices in different contexts acted
spacetime. The health of this dynamic process includes elements from the historical, cultural and
social issues and is influenced by the concept of man as a whole. This comprehensiveness is given

by the relationship between biological, psychological and social spheres, which allow participation
in society as liberating and transforming subject, recognizing their particularity. This shows how
man through his life process is constructed and reconstructed permanently, influencing the health
process. Thus, not only the biological component influence human health, but social and cultural
life also plays an important role and influences the processes of growth and development of man.
In this vein, physical activity as a health factor has a positive impact on public health, which can be
attested from the progress made in scientific research establishing a link between physical activity
and biological adaptations. They could state the conditions necessary to convince the political and
institutional leaders and users, the need to integrate physical activity within the framework of
action of public health, which has led to the development of a policy on physical activity as a
development of public health actions.
Physical activity, from sports training, arises as the result of the theory and practice of sports
science. Their study provides insight methods for the development of motor, conditional and
coordination capacities for learning, improvement of technical and tactical sport, the psychological
preparation as well as the whole process of planning and sports training. This trend physical
activity realizes athletic performance capacity of individuals, expressed in the degree of settlement
of sports-engine performance, marked by the complexity of its structure and conditioning aspects
that are articulated in the intervention under study . For this it is necessary that there are
professionals, scenarios, tools and resources, as well as programs that are suited to their intended
purposes, ie, in the process of sports training, aimed at achieving high sports performance, or
towards strengthening health, fitness; any other purpose must be subject to an administrative
process that goes through the planning, as this ensures the provision of the means, methods,
measures and resources which ensure compliance with these objectives
Physical activity, from education, is approached from an object of study that is very similar to
other professions (human movement), suggesting that each one, sharing the object of study,
requires mutual collaboration in all processes from their fields of action and intervention areas. To
show physical activity as an intervention tool processes from different professions should
prioritize strategies and programs according to population group participating in any of the fields
of action, either individually or in groups.
Approach to address physical activity through education, it is important to state that physical
education becomes its theoretical basis and, from the conceptual approach, content and
methodological treatments involving natural and human scientific disciplines, which facilitate their
development . In this perspective, the continuous change that comes about establishing physical
education, influenced by social changes, the psychic and cultural is established. The pedagogical
processes developed in this trend influence the formation of subjects where exercise is no longer
an end to become another means of training; physical activity offers the possibilities of the
individual, knowing and meeting their motivations and needs.
One could assume that physical activity occupies a privileged place within the preventative,
therapeutic and rehabilitative, for different professions to physical education context, such as
nursing, physiotherapy and medicine, among others. This, because the subject (patient) evaluates
its intervention processes based on the possibilities of movement that takes place after the
process of injury or illness have occurred, taken as a reference. Although physical education and

other professions are part of the intervention process, it not necessarily includes the other;
however, they complement from the promotion, therapeutic and rehabilitation of the subject.
Although appearing to accomplish the same goals and using the same methods, they can be
synonyms; however, these are distinguished by elements such as character (local and general), the
media used, the type of programs (passive and active), planning the workload and scientific
principles (doctors and medical teaching) .
You can view this interrelationship health professionals and Physical Education in physical activity
have a valuable tool for achieving its object of study and strengthening the same in the
population, regardless of whether this works in promotion, in therapy or rehabilitation and further
regardless of the population group which directs its intervention.
Globally, physical activity assumed in its full context now becomes the key strategy for all health
professionals who in one way or another on people seeking to improve their quality and their
living conditions, and from public health life is a basic and collective element that can generate a
significant change in what is currently happening with the product diseases inappropriate lifestyles
and behaviors and unhealthy behaviors.
Take physical activity as an intervention tool in promotion processes, therapeutic and intervention
involves an approach to the subject in a comprehensive manner, that is, understand the object of
study in a complex way that enables the network of the different relationships This intervene and
facilitate the development, improvement and maintenance of both motor skills, motor action,
motor activity and motor behavior in their interaction with the fields of action and areas of mid
performance by learning and motor control, ie , must realize the movement as a complex system
in a comprehensive intervention look.

Prevalence of physical activity: state of the art

The World Health Organization (WHO) (8), in its strategy of health for all by the year 2010, states
as one of its goals the reduction of the prevalence of overweight and obesity in all age groups as
well as increasing the proportion of adult daily performing moderate physical activity, such that
the perform at least for 30 minutes; adolescents and promote physical activities that provide a
good cardio-respiratory fitness three or more times a week. These aspects and other studies on
this subject show that in 76.6% of women and 56.7% of men have a sedentary lifestyle, which
shows an increase of up to 80.3% of men and 86.3% of women in the older age group.
Similarly, the National Survey of Health investigated a Colombian people between 12 and 69 years
about making physical activity in their free time; vigorous in which the individual has a significant
increase in breathing or heart rate, and the presence of large sweating, provided at least 20
minutes in length in a span of: This classification of physical activity as outlined three days a week;
light physical activity when the activity in the free time to do the individual and sweating slightly
increase breathing or heart rate, with a minimum duration of 30 minutes and a frequency of five
days a week.
Given this classification was estimated that 14% of the population between 12 and 69 years
performed regularly exercise or physical activity in their free time lightly. People between 18 and

69 years outnumber teenagers (12-17 years old) in carrying out this exercise pattern (15.7% and
5.6%, respectively). As for the distribution of the population by conducting regular vigorous
physical activity it was estimated for the entire population between 12 and 69 years 21.6%. For
the two age groups considered, the distribution is 12.5% for adolescents and 23.5% in the rest of
the population. The foregoing evidence the low percentages of realization of physical activity in
our country, showing the absence of intervention programs, monitoring and control, specifically in
these subjects (24).
In Spain there have been studies that have investigated the prevalence of physical activity in
populations of college students, with the most diverse methods, samples and designs. One of the
most comprehensive studies and recent review was conducted in 2004 (25), which systematically
reviewed research designs that analyzed the participation of university students in physical activity
at a level necessary for health benefits; specifically, 19 studies published between 1985 and 2001
representing a total of 35 747 students (20 179 women and 15,568 men) out of 27 countries
(Australia, Canada, China, Germany, Nigeria, the United States and 21 European countries). The
study concludes that the insufficient level of physical activity is a serious health problem among
college students and that some interventions to quantify the degree of compliance with the
recommendations of the ACSM healthy physical activity and similar bodies are necessary.
Although less profusion, in Spain have also conducted studies that have quantified, among other
variables, the prevalence of physical activity behavior among university students
(9,10,11,12,13,26). Another interesting study conducted at the University of Alicante, concluded
that nearly 60% of respondents working and studying between 6 and 10 hours a day sitting, and
about 75% or less walk three kilometers a day. Both questionnaires reported a lifestyle linked to
their obligations (work and study), markedly sedentary (13).
Martinez (27) raised the study of prevalence and factors associated with sedentary habit in a
university population, whose aim was to describe the level and patterns of physical activity and
sedentary habits of a sample of university students in order to analyze how to vary of factors
linked to gender, self-rated health and consideration of sedentary lifestyle disease.
Another study (28) investigates the motives and habits of physical activity in school children of 1216 years in a rural population of Seville. It relates that inactivity is brewing from the school causing
concern about the problems that lead to obesity and physical inactivity, and so imperious poses
identify gaps in physical activity in the school population.
In 2005 a study that sought to describe the prevalence of sedentary lifestyles in the population of
Pamplona, as well as knowing what factors most influence (29) are raised. It is determined that
physical inactivity increases with age, up to 80.3% of older men and 86.3% women. Also,
sociodemographic factors such as sex, age, education, occupation and marital status seem to be
determining the sedentary lifestyle, while consumption of snuff and being overweight are not.
Among young people, women without college education and married men who are smokers seem
to be vulnerable to promote physical activity populations.
In Costa Rica (30) the study on the level of physical activity, sedentary lifestyle and anthropometric
variables public officials, sought to know the amount of physical activity that officials made during
the week. For this they participated 84 people with an average age of 30.69 years, all officials

Comprehensive Care Program agreement UCR Health-CCSS. They will be measured body mass
index (BMI), waist circumference and amount of physical activity performed during the week
through physical activity questionnaire Paffenbarger.
Bogota (31) a study where results of the characterization of the level of physical fitness of 980
people attending recreational roads of Bogota is performed; among the most outstanding results,
an indicator of 29% of obese people is, while 48% corresponds to 470 users and are above the
normal rate for fat is concerned. Another important finding is the marked deficiency in flexibility,
which is almost 100% of the population. Equally worrying are the results disclosed in the
assessment of cardiopulmonary endurance, in which more than 58% of the population shows poor
levels well below the average normal.
In 2008 (32) an investigation that sought to assess knowledge, attitudes and practices of physical
activity and associated factors in 3,979 people of both sexes and different age groups, reflect
poblacin of Medellin was developed. Among the results it was observed that only one in five
personas (21.2%) performs enough physical activity to protect health.
In general, the development of physical activity in much of the world is characterized by proposing
and taking measurements, strategies and policies aimed at the formation of partnerships to help
communities and countries to organize culturally relevant programs that promote physical activity
and sport (16). From this perspective, it has been suggested that programs promoting physical
activity should be directed to integrate in daily life and to promote it in all social groups,
developing enabling environments that allow access to it, from intervention strategies as : a)
access to information (massive community campaigns and notices at strategic points), b) social
and behavioral access, c) creation of spaces and access to places for physical activity (33).
The main consequence of the low prevalence of physical activity is sedentary. This term comes
from the Latin sedentar us, re thirsty, sitting. The World Health Organization (WHO), in 2002,
called it "the little agitation or movement" (8). In terms of energy use, it is considered that a
sedentary person, when in their daily activities does not increase more than 10% the energy
expended at rest (basal metabolism). This energy expenditure is performed in units of METs
(Metabolic Equivalent Unit) for performing various physical activities like walking, mowing the
lawn, doing housecleaning, up and down stairs, among others (5).
According to PAHO and WHO, in Latin America nearly three quarters of the population have a
sedentary lifestyle, much of the population of all ages is inactive, with women being the most
trend, as people on low resources (14). In relation to the adult population, the level of physical
activity is very low, with studies in some Latin countries show reduced as advancing in age (34)
participation.
In the United States more than 60% of adults do not do the recommended amount of exercise and
evidence that only 30% of adults regularly perform physical activity, 40% of adults and 23% of
children do physical activity in their free time and 25% of high school students do at least 30
minutes of physical five or more days a week (35.36) activity.
In Colombia, data on sedentary lifestyles are very similar to those of other countries referenced
herein. The national study of risk factors for chronic diseases shows that 52% are not physically
active and only 35% of the surveyed population physically active with a frequency of once a week,

21.2% is done so Regular least three times a week, being in Bogota where data are reported as
20% of teenagers are sedentary, 50% irregularly active, 19% regularly and 9.8% active assets (14).
Prolonged inactivity leads to marked and progressive reduction in muscle mass, strength, flexibility
and balance (37). It has been shown that regular physical activity with stimulus three times a week
at least, promotes significant differences in the indexes predicting body fat, significantly reduces
the risk of contracting various diseases such as diseases of coronary origin (DAC), hypertension,
insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, etc., which positively affects aspects of the quality of life of
individuals (38).
Colombian cardiology journal recently published a study on the level of physical inactivity in the
city of Cartagena and concludes that "the prevalence of risk factors in this study was similar to
other studies in other Western countries, significant difference was observed in sedentary
lifestyles and levels of education, an increase in risk factors for cardiovascular disease correlating
with age was noted, this allows us to adopt and modify the lifestyle to reduce the risk of
cardiovascular disease "( 39).
The previously raised elements are very crucial in the life of individuals, to the point that is
emphasized that physical inactivity then leads to inactivity, and directly proportional relationship
between these two categories is shown, which together with a good related habits health
determine appropriate levels of activity in people. WHO suggests that physical inactivity is the
fourth risk factor most important mortality worldwide. Physical inactivity increases in many
countries, and this significantly influences the prevalence of noncommunicable diseases (NCD) and
the general health of the world population, establishing a series of global recommendations on
physical activity for health aimed at preventing the ENT by practicing physical activity in the
general population which is addressed to policy makers at the national level (40).
Here are some of the recommendations mentioned in the world: a) should prescribe physical
activity for population groups, ie, 5 to 17 years, 18 to 64 and over 65; b) the minimum time will be
60 minutes accumulated per day for the first two age ranges and for over 65 years accumulated
150 minutes a week; c) the levels of demand will be moderate to vigorous and it is best that the
frequency is daily practice (40).

Physical activity as a strategy for health promotion

You need to conceptualize the promotion of health, which is understood as the process that
allows people to increase control over the determinants of health and thereby improve (15); In
addition, this document proposes that health promotion represents a comprehensive social and
political process, which not only encompasses actions directed at strengthening the skills and
capacities of individuals, but also to actions aimed at changing social, environmental and economic
conditions so to alleviate their impact on health.
In this sense, to reach a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, an individual or
group must be able to identify and to realize aspirations, to satisfy needs and to change or adapt
to the environment (15).

The health promotion is complementary to primary prevention, that is, prepares and conditions
the individual and collective interventions from the activity and physical exercise. The promotion is
not only the dissemination and popularization of information about programs of activity and
exercise, but also includes policies to reduce sedentary, urban mobility policies, adequacy of public
spaces and health policies in chronic diseases, this in intervention groups. Meanwhile, individual
interventions refer to the intervention of environment conducive to realization of activity and
exercise with proper spaces and environments that promote the individual's decision to change
their lifestyles to the activity (7).
Physical activity is linked to the concept of health and quality of life as an effective strategy or
intervention that improves the perception, the level of satisfaction of individual and collective
needs, and recognized the benefits it brings from the biological, psychosocial and cognitive (16).
Thus becomes an effective tool to improve the quality of life of the population.
For a long time they have supported the idea that there is a direct relationship between amount of
physical and health benefits or, in other words, the more physical activity, better health activity.
However, today it is openly questions that only the relationship between health benefits and high
amounts and intensities of physical activity, coupled with the potential effects on the functioning
of organic systems, based on the practice of physical activity allows it highlights outstandingly in
contact with oneself, improving self-image, awareness of reality, motivation, socialization with
other people or simply enjoy the "just because" a pleasurable activity that allows processes of selfrealization in the life (41).
Guide to Prescription and evaluation of the exercise of American College of Sports Medicine
(1999) suggests the relationship between physical activity and functional effects on health, and
from the first moment of practice disclosed the precept " do some physical activity is better than
doing nothing. " Hence the need to reflect on the process of the practice copper increasingly
important when it comes to understanding the relationships between physical activity and health.
There are different ways of understanding the role of physical activity in relation to health
addressed since, as an educator element, therapeutic, preventive and wellness:
The educational role of physical activity is generating related benefits, contraindications, practice
areas, misuse or abuse of the same knowledge, all with a view to promoting health from
conducting any activity physics.
The therapeutic role of physical activity found this as a drug or instrument which can recover
bodily function or injury, this is how physical exercises recommended by doctors correspond to a
physical activity related to health.
The preventive role of physical activity is used to reduce the risk of emerging diseases. In
addition, physical activity is also used in the treatment of chronic non-communicable diseases, to
play a therapeutic role.
The role of welfare physical activity is that it can promote personal and social development, that
is, physical activity is a factor that contributes to improving the quality of life of the individual (42)

The articulation of these functions of physical activity to their health allows us to approach a
comprehensive concept that encompasses many aspects from the collective and the individual
making it an effective way to approach not only in prevention but also in health promotion.
Considering the benefits of physical activity, physical activity expected to strengthen health in
terms of potentiation of all physical and also decrease the risk factors of acquiring cardiovascular
diseases qualities increase production capacity, improve relations interpersonal, provide healthy
alternatives to the use of free time, compensate the sedentary nature of work activity and
intellectual order (43); all with the ultimate aim of improving the quality of life.
The participation of different actors and sectors of the community that give sustainability to the
actions around physical activity, in order to overcome difficulties and meet the needs that affect is
necessary to develop the process of promoting physical activity the inhabitants of a given territory,
guiding efforts towards a best possible condition considering the dimensions and variables that
generate the problems (17).
Physical activity becomes a strategy that promotes health, because it is a source of life experiences
to be able to mobilize resources, and also for the benefits it brings and the possibility of changing
habits and social behavior, which leads to improved perception of life of individuals and
communities (5).
It is important to recognize that by the year 1986, during the Conference on Health Promotion
meeting in Ottawa, the goal of "Health for All" is set, and is considered the practice of physical
activity as an element that promotes health in insofar as it provided for individuals and groups the
means to improve their health and exercise greater control over it; additionally they consider it an
effective intervention strategy to reach a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being,
providing individuals and collective capacity to meet their needs change and adapt to the
environment (5).
When physical activity as a means to promote health arises, reference to the recognition of this as
an issue that must be addressed by public health, presenting great interest mainly in developed
countries is made; thus, for example, the promotion of physical activity is a priority area within the
Healthy People 2000 program, carried out in the United States. In this sense, it is considered that
the effectiveness of strategies to promote physical activity is necessary to provide opportunities,
incentives and reinforcements for all young people (41).
In Colombia the national public health plan includes among its specific objectives increase above
26% prevalence of conducting overall physical activity in adolescents between 13 and 17 years
(Baseline: 26% Source:. ENSIN 2005) it will increase above 42.6% prevalence of low physical
activity in adults between 18 and 64 years, mainly knowing the benefits it brings the practice of it
and the risks involved to health sedentary lifestyle (44).
Physiologically are studies reporting a decrease in adiposity in young people who practice regular
physical activity, reducing the risk of overweight, obesity and also cardiovascular risks (45). Other
studies say the least physical activity three times a week, over 30 minutes, decreases the incidence
of ischemic heart disease, hypertension, stroke, diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis, depression,
anxiety and some types of cancer (46, 47,48,49) which ratifies one of the most important
strategies for disease prevention and health promotion (32).

In confirmation of this is a study conducted in Puerto Rico seeking to correlate physical activity and
anthropometric measurements of 9,824 men between 1962 and 1965. After excluding those with
known coronary disease at baseline, and those who died in the first three years of the study, data
of the relationship between physical activity and overweight and mortality from all causes in this
population were analyzed; and found that the benefits of an active lifestyle are directly related to
the lower incidence of overweight and obesity, and also found that Puerto Rican men who are
physically active experienced significant reductions in all-cause mortality compared to their
sedentary counterparts (50).
In the United States they conducted a prospective longitudinal study in adults, which analyzed the
impact of the realization of long-term aerobic about the presence of pain in the musculoskeletal
system exercise. That exercise patterns found long-term elderly physically active are associated
with decreased skeletal muscle pain by 25% as reported by sedentary individuals also provide
them feeling of wellbeing, which increases their quality of life ( 51).
In the past three decades the rich epidemiological analysis of physical activity has reached very
uniform conclusions about the benefits of regular practice. However, the prevalence of sedentary
lifestyles is increasing, so necessary interventions to promote physical activity that achieve (52) in
order to increase the prevalence of realization of physical activity in both adults and young people
are (44).
CONCLUSIONS
Physical activity is an efficient and effective tool in promoting health when included aspects
inherent to the human being and not merely the optimization of physical space as a key element
of strategies for health promotion; similarly, the empowerment of community spaces and policies
that provide knowledge management and education of the community, which should be directed
towards the individual and collective benefit through decreased awareness is necessary, as well as
Risk factors that enable the acquisition of pathologies that bring long-term deterioration in their
quality of life.
It was also concluded that in response to the plurality of concepts about physical activity, you
need to address each of them recognizing the specific needs of the group to be involved,
considering the postulates claiming that physical activity was found reflected in the intervention
plans of the various groups and their relationship with their own age range activities, integrating
elements such as policies, which set out the guidelines for primary prevention plans that include in
their frames needs to integrate activity and exercise plans physical world follow the
recommendations set out on physical activity to promote health as a need for benefits associated
with physical activity practice process.
The articulation of health promotion, primary prevention and the implementation of programs of
physical activity is necessary, in which all revolve around the changing lifestyles and community
empowerment of these policies to allow them enjoy the benefits of them to improve their quality
of life.

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