Preventive Medicine

Physical activity as part of daily living: Moving beyond quantitative recommendations.




  • PA's interface with health goes beyond energy expenditure and preventing diseases.
  • PA is a multidimensional behavior that reflect the modes of living of societies.
  • Realign our actions with our speech is needed to promote PA at the population level.
  • An approach to PA recommendations, based on a broader understanding of PA, is needed.


The purpose of this study is to discuss a paradigm shift towards a broader understanding of physical activity (PA) as part of daily living and, therefore, a different approach for PA guidelines, research, and promotion. To this aim, we centered the discussion in two topics: 1) PA: from a restricted view to a broader phenomenon; and 2) Recommendations for PA: moving beyond minutes and dose-response. A holistic understanding of PA and its relationship with health is not possible unless it is considered values, meanings, and symbols that impregnate the human behavior linked to the modes of living of a given people. If we do believe that PA is a behavior essential to human life, we must align our actions to our speech. However, current guidelines, as well as in most policies and programs of PA is largely portrayed as a way to attain longer life expectancy and less diseases, which runs against our consolidated understanding of PA as part of our everyday life. New guidelines could focus on how, when, why, where, and with whom we include PA in our daily lives, based on a day-long approach, instead of how much we should do in order to prevent non-communicable diseases.

More Evidence Physical Activity Reduces Cardiovascular Risk.

Medscape Medical News, 2017-11-22

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