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Physical Inactivity: Negative Effects


Physical activity is an essential requirement for healthy living and functioning. During workouts, the human body decomposes energy that enters the organism with food consumption. When individuals lead a passive or sedentary lifestyle, their immune system begins to weaken together with a deterioration in muscle tone. Moreover, at the age of 18 to 25 years, people who do not observe physical activity can develop not only various diseases but also suffer from excessive weight gain, which will additionally affect their future life. The purpose of this paper is to explore the background of this issue.

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Physical inactivity is a phenomenon that implies a change in the way of living due to a significant restriction in a person’s activity. The lack of physical activity leads individuals to a situation of conflict with their biological nature. In particular, the human body requires performing intensive physical exercises (in accordance with a person’s age and individual indicators) to maintain internal processes of the body at a sufficient level (Stanhope & Lancaster, 2014). Without a certain degree of muscular work, human organism ceases to function properly, develops diseases, and exhibits an overall decline in health status.

Epidemiology and Clinical Presentation

According to experts in the field, in recent decades, motor activity of the population group aged 18-25 has decreased by 15% (Stanhope & Lancaster, 2014). This setting complicated by malnutrition, polluted environment, and other stress factors that negatively affect the health of young adults. In accordance with the latest studies, physical inactivity in younger generations leads to a decrease in their cognitive abilities and intelligence (Miller, 2013). In addition to the possible cognitive impairment, physical inactivity can lead to diseases occurring in a latent form and manifestation of pathological processes. Alternatively, young individuals with sufficient cardiovascular fitness exhibit optimistic results in terms of their physical and cognitive well-being.

In general, physical inactivity can be determined by three main symptoms. First, patients with insufficient physical activity experience weight gain. Second, they often present with muscle bulk loss (Stanhope & Lancaster, 2014). Third, deficient exercising frequently results in fatigue and moodiness. Notably, as a rule, physical activity deficit is the consequence of low awareness of patients regarding the importance of regular workouts.


Physical inactivity can result in the emergence of multiple complications. For instance, the main consequence of improper cardiovascular fitness is obesity and overweight. Apart from that, low motor activity increases the risk of developing hypertension and diabetes (Miller, 2013). Moreover, physical inactivity may lead to heart disease and increased cholesterol levels. Therefore, young individuals neglecting physical exercises are under the threat of developing various health conditions in the future.


Physical activity deficit is not always easy to diagnose. However, different methods exist to detect possible motor activity deficit. In particular, patients can take questionnaires in which they will reveal their exercise regime (Stanhope & Lancaster, 2014). In addition, they can be advised to have their physical activity checked with monitors. Their movement and heart rate will be measured using special instrumentation. Also, the calculation of energy expenditure is essential. The combination of these evaluations allows for inspecting individual levels of activity. Such tools as heart rate monitors or gas analysis masks can additionally assist specialists in diagnosing physical inactivity.

Conclusion and PICOT Question

Thus, it can be concluded that physical inactivity among young individuals aged 18-25 years is a rather common phenomenon. Insufficient motor activity often results in severe health complications in the future. Frequently enough, physical activity deficit is the consequence of patients’ low awareness regarding the importance of cardiovascular fitness for their health. Based on the discussion, the following PICOT question can be proposed for the future study:

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(P) – Age group 18 to 25;

(I) – That receives education regarding the importance of exercising 300 minutes per week;

(C) – Compared to a similar group that does not receive the education;

(O) – Will increase their present level of activity by 30%;

(T) – By the end of a 6-month study.


Miller, C. A. (2013). Fast facts for health promotion in nursing: Promoting wellness in a nutshell. New York, NY: Springer.

Stanhope, M., & Lancaster, J. (2014). Public health nursing: Population-Centered health care in the community (8th ed.). New York, NY: Elsevier.

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