In December 2007 BNF published a new Briefing Paper on Physical activity and health.
The paper begins by considering how physical activity is defined and measured, and then goes on to describe the currents levels of physical activity in the UK and emerging trends in physical activity behaviour. The various physiological effects of physical activity are considered in some detail, including the effects on body composition, and the interaction between physical activity and food intake.
The paper also summarises the evidence on the relationship between physical activity and a range of chronic diseases including obesity, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis, mental health and psychological wellbeing.
Finally the paper recaps on the current UK recommendations for physical activity, considers the effects of physical activity across the lifecourse, and public health considerations such as psychological barriers to and environmental determinants of physical activity.
For more information, the paper and a summary are attached below.