Chapter 3

Physical Inactivity: A Lazy World

Sarah Litman Rendell and Charles Swencionis


Modern lifestyles in the developed world have led to decreased levels of physical activity. In addition to the contribution, physical inactivity has increased rates of overweight and obesity, physical inactivity has independently been cited as the fourth leading risk factor for non-communicable diseases. In this chapter, we review current guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control, and contrasts them with actual energy expenditures reported in research around the world. We highlight the relationship between physical inactivity, overweight, obesity, and non-communicable diseases. We also identify major contributors to the decline in rates of physical activity in recent years, including availability of public and private modes of transportation, occupational limitations on leisure time, increased time spent in sedentary activities, such as television watching and computer use, and barriers to purposeful exercise. Finally, we review some popular initiatives and recommendations for improving the frequency and quality of physical activity among Americans.

Total Pages: 55-67 (13)

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