In the recent study, researchers examine the challenges in promoting physical activity in a society less and less inclined to walk, run or exercise. Writing in the article, Antronette K. Yancey, MD, MPH, at the UCLA School of Public Health, states, "Although the science of physical activity promotion is advancing rapidly, the practice of promoting physical activity at a population level is in its infancy."
The authors examined the current public health infrastructure and found that there are political and systemic barriers to effective physical activity promotional efforts. Competing interests have often conspired to hamper such programs. For example, funding public school Physical Education often loses out to increased money for more academic programs. While healthy eating to prevent obesity is desirable, demonising the food industry as the sole cause of obesity undermines the importance of physical activity and deflects attention from activity-restricting consequences of other industries. With the automobile, oil and tire industries putting us in cars and the movie/TV, video game and spectator sports industries putting us in chairs, the public is encouraged to remain sedentary. The message that there is a fuller spectrum of benefits from physical activity is easily lost.
Yancey continues, "The public health infrastructure for physical activity promotion, while undeveloped and untested, is not unlike the public health infrastructure for other major health concerns before they were recognized as such. Given the evidence, the time is right to move forward with putting the infrastructure into place. To not do so is to place future generations at risk."
MEDICA.de; Source: Elsevier Health Sciences