Leisure Time, Physical Activity, and Health

  • Jorge Mota
  • Mauro Barros
  • José Carlos Ribeiro
  • Maria Paula Santos


A great deal of evidence supports the many benefits of regular physical activity (PA). Although recent developments have shown the growing importance of genetics on several diseases such as obesity (Maes et al., 1997), low levels of PA increase the risk of several chronic diseases and premature mortality (Paffenbarger RS, Hyde RT, Prev Med 13(1):3–31, 1984) Rather, adequate levels of PA include several benefits such as improvements in cardiorespiratory fitness, muscular fitness, bone health, body composition, and cardiovascular as well as metabolic health biomarkers (USDHHS, Physical activity guidelines for Americans. Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, DC, 2008; WHO, Global recommendations on physical activity for health. World Health Organization, Geneva, 2010). Therefore, physical inactivity has been categorized as a modifiable risk factor for lifestyle-related diseases with long-term benefits in psychological, physiological, and social domains of human life regardless of the age group (Andersen et al. Lancet, 368(9532): 299–304). For instance, a recent study highlighted that living a physically active lifestyle is associated with a 40% reduction in the genetic predisposition to common obesity (Li et al., 2010), whereas genetic influences on the body mass index (BMI) are lower among those who report vigorous exercise (McCaffery et al., 2009).


Physical Activity Sedentary Behavior Leisure Time Physical Activity Participation Kaiser Family Foundation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Doctor Jorge Mota contribution was supported by National Foundation of Science and Technology (FCT), grant: SFRH/BSAB/1025/2010.


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jorge Mota
    • 1
  • Mauro Barros
    • 2
  • José Carlos Ribeiro
    • 1
  • Maria Paula Santos
    • 1
  1. 1.Research Centre in Physical Activity, Health and Leisure Faculty of SportsPorto UniversityPortoPortugal
  2. 2.Escola Superior de Educação FísicaUniversidade de PernambucoRecifeBrazil

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