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Physical Activity and Sedentary Lifestyle Issue

In the contemporary western world where people’s lives do not require much physical activity on a daily basis, sedentary lifestyles and jobs are starting to grow into a serious public health problem. Unfortunately, not many people are aware of risks that can be brought about by physical inactivity. As a result, it is necessary for nursing professionals to become active promoters of a healthier lifestyle by means of delivering education and informing patients, their families, and communities about this issue and dangers that are associated with it.

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According to the definition provided by WHO (2018), physical activity stands for any type of bodily movements that are produced with the help of skeletal muscles and consume energy. At the same time, this definition always goes along with the explanation of threats of physical inactivity that is now recognized as one of the top four leading health risk factors on a global scale. In fact, as specified by WHO (2018), physical inactivity in children and adults is linked to increased mortality rates, while the regular physical exercise of moderate intensity is associated with multiple health benefits.


Physical inactivity is related to a variety of health risks. As mentioned by Gay, Chabaud, Guilley, and Coudeyre (2016), sedentary lifestyles that cause conditions linked to the lack of activity are typical for many different populations groups and can be caused by a number of factors such as functional limitation, age, level of education, access to fitness activities, and the presence of mental disorders. Moreover, in some cases, sedentary lifestyles are also linked to BMI and gender of individuals (Hootman, Macera, Ham, Helmick, & Sniezek, 2003).

Clinical Presentation

Some of the conditions that are related to or caused by the lack of physical activity include arthritis in its various forms, diabetes, hypertension, certain types of cancer, depression, and anxiety to name a few. In turn, committing to regular exercise, one can decrease their risks of developing the aforementioned conditions, as well as improve their overall quality of life and wellbeing (CDC, 2017). In older adults, regular exercise can help minimize the risk of falls.


The lack of physical activity is dangerous for adults as well as children. Regardless of people’s age, it can serve as one of the major contributors to very serious conditions and lead to increased mortality and morbidity (Gulam, 2016). That is why appropriate education needs to be delivered to a broad audience of patients. A large number of patients of various age groups and affected by different health conditions could potentially benefit from regular exercise if only they were informed about its importance and instructed how and when it should be practiced.


Physical inactivity is easy to diagnose based on the overall state of fitness of patients, as well as their individual reports regarding their dedication to exercise or the lack thereof. In other words, patients can be diagnosed after a brief observation and assessment or due to their personal report of having little to no physical activity in their daily lives. Such patients are in need of education concerning the benefits of regular physical exercise. The promotion of a more active lifestyle can be accomplished through the delivery of useful information.

Conclusion and PICOT Question

Based on the findings presented in the literature processed for this project, a conclusion can be made that a diverse group of individuals (in terms of their age and health conditions) can benefit from increased physical activity promoted by education delivery. In that way, the PICOT question for this project is the following:

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In a group of participants ages 18 to 25 (P), does the provision of education regarding the importance of exercising 300 minutes per week (I), compared to a similar group that does not receive the education (C), increase their level of activity by 30% (O) by the end of a 6-month period (T)?


CDC. (2017). Physical activity facts. Web.

Gay, C., Chabaud, A., Guilley, E., & Coudeyre, E. (2016). Educating patients about the benefits of physical activity and exercise for their hip and knee osteoarthritis: Systematic literature review. Annals of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, 59(3), 174-183.

Gulam, A. (2016). Need, Importance and Benefits of exercise in daily life. International Journal of Physical Education, Sports and Health, 3(2), 127-130

Hootman, J. M., Macera, C. A., Ham, S. A., Helmik, S. G., & Sniezek, J. E. (2003). Physical activity levels among the general US adult population and in adults with and without arthritis. Arthritis & Rheumatology, 49(1), 129-35.

WHO. (2018). Physical activity. Web.

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