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The Importance Of Physical Activity In Public Health

analytical Essay
1130 words
1130 words
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This literature review will look into cycling as a means of transportation, for both commuter and recreational purposes, as well as look in depth, the question of just how much can cycling improve both our mental and physical health? The review will examine/critique the statistics that try to prove the affects of physical activity for public health, as well as outline the strengths of each claim and expose the weaknesses. The great philosopher Plato said that the "lack of activity [in society] destroys the good condition of every human being, while movement and methodical physical exercise save it and preserve it". This review will outline the dilemma we face in todays society; it ultimately can be referred to, as David Bannister suggests, the fascination with 'distance, speed and time'. For these three qualities are so domineering in our lives today and the effects (both positive and negative) play a substantial part in our lives. The review will critique the writings of scholars such as Tranter, Bannister, Racioppi, Tight and Lindsay as they attempt to define the importance of physical activity for public health.

The similarities that all the aforementioned scholars have in common is the connection between physical activity and health. There are numerous statistics that indicate and suggest that physical activity increases life expectancy, below are just a few that are relevant. There was a case study conducted in the 1950's that looked into the health and wellbeing of bus drivers who have a very sedentary lifestyle, to their counterparts, conductors, who are more active. The study showed that the drivers experienced higher rates of heart disease (Morris, J,N). There was also a health study conducted in England that concluded t...

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... fascination with distance, speed and time is categorically evident in the way that our cities are run. Dominated by machines that create both environmental and health issues. This review has attempted to outline the health benefits of cycling and critique them through scientific evidence. The evidence that Tranter, Bannister, Racioppi, Tight and Lindsay attempt to illustrate, is essentially a shift from a sedentary lifestyle to a more active one. Plato was perhaps well ahead of his time in stating that the "lack of activity [in society] destroys the good condition of every human being, while movement and methodical physical exercise save it and preserve it” (Plato, 427-347 BCE). This encompasses and summarises all the physical and mental impacts cycling plays on the body and this review demonstrates how easy it is to change this epidemic of obesity through cycling.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes the literature review of cycling as a means of transportation, for both commuter and recreational purposes, as well as examine the statistics that try to prove the affects of physical activity for public health.
  • Explains the correlation between physical activity and health. there are numerous statistics that indicate and suggest that physical exercise increases life expectancy.
  • Explains that barcelona shifted 40% of their car traffic into alternate modes, namely bicycles and trains, and saw 76 less deaths than the mean average, due to physical activity.
  • Explains that cities like new york, paris, and copenhagen have reported massive changes in their transport systems, with many more cyclists than ever before.
  • States that francesca racioppi examined the obesity epidemic and stated that a more physically active lifestyle would reduce obesity and the risks for important diseases such as coronary heart disease, hypertension and diabetes.
  • Argues that burke critises the benefits of the car rather than highlighting the advantages of it.
  • Analyzes how the review outlines the health benefits of cycling and critiques them through scientific evidence. plato summarises all the physical and mental impacts cycling plays on the body.
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