Physical activity

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Physical activity is defined as "any movement of the skeletal muscles that leads to a significant increase in the amount of energy needed to rest" and describes the physical movement that a person performs himself. In principle, all physical movements that result in the consumption of energy can be described as physical activity, e.g. B. Routine activities around the house, while shopping or at work.

Physical activity differs in terms of complexity, precision, strength and speed. Physical activity consists of basic activities, i. H. individual, not further separable movements as well as composed, more complex movement sequences. On the basis of energy expenditure in humans, physical activity is divided into light (i.e. <3 MET ), moderate (approx. 3-6 MET) and heavy physical activity (i.e.> 6 MET).

Physical activities that are carried out for their own sake, for the purpose of training the body or for the purpose of competing with others in physical activity, are usually referred to as sport .


Physical activity ranging from sport to simple movements has positive effects on human health. In today's society, the exercise of physical activity is particularly important due to lack of exercise , triggered by computer work, television and driving a car and the like. The promotion of physical activity also plays a central role in the corporate environment. In addition to nutrition and stress management, the promotion of physical activity is one of the three central pillars for improving the health of employees - and this across industries and regardless of all framework conditions, physical activity-related interventions are among the most common measures in companies. The average physical activity performed depends on age, gender and social class.


The British Heart Foundation (BHF) recommends that you should exercise enough for at least 30 minutes five days a week. The American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also recommends moderate or, better, high physical activity. In Germany, too, national recommendations for physical activity and physical activity promotion were published on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Health .

In addition, the Federal Ministry of Health pursues different initiatives every year to improve the movement situation. In 1998, as part of the Federal Health Survey, the physical activity of the population was recorded as a representative study of the state of health of the population in Germany. This survey found a sedentary lifestyle, which explains the increase in the number of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes in the population. According to the follow-up DEGS 2008/11 survey , it was found that the proportion of active athletes has meanwhile increased significantly.

Regular physical activity is a very cheap form of prevention that around 90 percent of people over 50 could benefit from.

Acquisition methods

The monitoring of physical activity in everyday life is interesting for the detection of illness or nursing conditions, predicts future illnesses and can be used to motivate and change lifestyle.

International self-assessment forms, the IPAQ (International Physical Activity Questionaire), have already been developed in order to record a comprehensive, uniform survey of the movement situation. The physical activities at work, leisure and sport are recorded. However, it could be shown that national differences exist in the subjective meaning of light to vigorous physical activity. In order to obtain an objective statement, mobile sensor systems are used to measure physical activity. While simple electromechanical step counters have mostly been used to date, complex mobile sensor systems will be used in the future. These systems are based on multi-axis acceleration sensors with automatic pattern recognition to classify the type of movement carried out (Mobile Motion Tracking Technologies).

Relevant activity classes

Looking at the forms of movement, i. H. Activity classes that humans perform most frequently in everyday life, only a few forms of movement are relevant.

A distinction is made between spontaneous activity, which ensures that the posture is maintained, and optional physical activity. In contrast to spontaneous activity, optional activity describes voluntary body movements.

Daily activity in children consists of nine hours of lying down, nine hours of sitting, five hours of standing and one hour of movement. The exercise period, however, only consists of 15-30 minutes of physical activity with high activity. For the 24-hour profile of physical activities, forms of movement such as sleeping, sitting, standing, walking, running, cycling, walking on stairs, housework or gardening, as well as passive forms of movement such as driving a car / train, air travel and various sports activities during the day are of interest.

Exercise recommendations in Germany

The national recommendations for physical activity and physical activity promotion were drawn up by a group of scientists and aim to provide scientific guidance in the field of physical activity promotion. For the first time internationally, recommendations for physical activity and recommendations for physical activity promotion are systematically linked.

The recommendations relate to five different target groups: 1. Children and adolescents (up to 18) 2. Adults (18–65) 3. Older adults (65+) 4. Adults with a chronic disease (18–65) 5. Whole population (only for physical activity promotion)

The recommendations for exercise contain recommended exercise times for each target group with information on the intensity and type of exercise. In addition, the benefits of physical activity, recommended sitting times and things to know before starting or resuming physical activity are discussed.

The recommendations for physical activity promotion relate to specific measures aimed at improving people's physical activity behavior. They differentiate between living environments such as B. Family, kindergarten, school and work. In addition, they contain recommendations on the cost-effectiveness of physical activity promotion measures as well as quality criteria for their effective implementation. Effects on social equity are also discussed.

Exercise recommendation in Austria

Basically, there are physical activity recommendations for three different age groups in Austria:

  1. Children / adolescents (up to 17)
  2. Adults (18-64)
  3. Elderly (65+)

It is divided into:

General activity, medium and higher intensity.
In the medium intensity you should still be able to communicate with one another without any problems. Higher intensities should only allow short exchanges.
Muscle and bone strengthening activity.
Muscle-strengthening movement refers to physical activities in which one's own body weight (e.g. push-ups), weights or other aids (e.g. Thera-Band) are used as resistance.
Bone-strengthening movements are repetitive physical activities (e.g. hopping, running, step aerobics) that overcome body weight.

For children, physical activity should be around 60 minutes a day. To do this, you should do about 3 times muscle and bone strengthening training and, if possible, exercise in the areas of coordination and mobility.

Adults should either exercise 150 minutes at medium intensity or 75 minutes at high intensity (per week). A session should last at least 10 minutes. In addition, muscle strengthening training twice a week. Those who want to be even more active in the area of ​​exercise are recommended five hours a week on medium, or 150 minutes on high intensity. Elderly people should be in the recommended minimum range for adults, taking into account existing diseases and health.

See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Bouchard C., Shephard RJ: Physical activity, fitness, and health: International proceedings and consensus statement. By Claude Bouchard, Roy J. Shephard, and Thomas Stephens. XXIV + 1,055 pp. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics. 1994. $ 95.00 (cloth) . In: Stephens T. (Ed.): American Journal of Human Biology . tape 6 , no. 5 , 1994, ISSN  1042-0533 , pp. 675-676 , doi : 10.1002 / ajhb.1310060517 ( [accessed June 8, 2018]).
  2. EUFIC: DIE GRUNDLAGEN 06/2006 Physical activity ( memento of the original from December 27, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  3. Arnd Krüger : History of movement therapy. In: Preventive Medicine. Springer Loseblatt Collection, Heidelberg 1999, 07.06, pp. 1–22.
  4. ^ Health survey, Mensink, physical activity. In: Healthcare. 61, special issue 2, Robert Koch Institute, Berlin 1999, p. 126 ff.
  5. a b Mayländer S, Walden M, Kaeding TS, Tobias Stephan Kaeding (ed.): The vital company: How to get your employees moving. Richard Pflaum Verlag GmbH & Co. KG, Munich 2019, ISBN 978-3-948277-00-0 , pp. 307 .
  6. Federal Center for Health Education: National recommendations for physical activity and physical activity promotion, special issue 03 of the series "Research and Practice in Health Promotion"
  7. Robert Koch Institute: DEGS Symposium “Measured and asked - the health of Germans under the microscope”: Physical activity: How active are Germans?
  8. D. Jeschke, K. Zeilberger: Aging and physical activity. In: Deutsches Ärzteblatt. 101 (12), 2004, pp. A-789 / B-652 / C-636.
  9. IPAQ, International Physical Activity Questionaire, The Unit for public health nutrition,
  10. The nationwide child and youth health survey. In: Healthcare. 64, 2002, pp. 3-11, doi: 10.1055 / s-2002-39003 .
  11. Federal Center for Health Education: National recommendations for physical activity and physical activity promotion, special issue 03 of the series "Research and Practice in Health Promotion"