The saying ‘sport and exercise are good for your health’ appears at first to be an irrefutable fact. However in this assignment I am going to look the information and facts that agree with this statement, and then compare and contrast with the information that disagrees. To begin it would seem logical to define the words in the statement to gain better understanding of their meaning. Sport has several meanings, such as ‘one being a good sport’ by showing honesty and respect even when defeated but for the purposes of this essay sport will be defined as “an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others” (Oxford Dictionaries, 2008). Exercise is defined as “activity requiring physical effort carried out for the sake of health and fitness” yet interestingly has a second meaning that could be very relevant to the above statement; “an activity carried out for a specific purpose” (Oxford Dictionaries, 2008). Good is defined as “to be desired or approved of, and health “the state of being free from illness or injury” or a person’s mental or physical condition” (Oxford Dictionaries, 2008). The definitions of each of these words show sport would involve exercise; or rather sport is applied exercise in pursuit of a goal or result. So for the purposes of this assignment I will compare and contrast them concurrently. Sport & Exercise are good for your health?
Good health it would be fair to say is a desirable commodity or feature of a person. The link between physical activity and wellbeing is not a new idea or argument to promote exercise. Since the beginning of historical records the Chinese have practiced Tai Chi and other forms of physical activity to prevent diseases. Up to 1500 years ago the Roman physician, Galen was prescribing exercise to maintain good health (Brian J. Sharkey, 2006, p.14). This topic was raised by Dr Steven Blair and Harold Kohl at the American College of Sports Medicine in 1988. A study had been conducted on 1000 men to analyze the ‘all-cause’ death rate for sedentary or inactive men and those who were active. The results of the study have shaped the way we think about health and exercise to this day. They showed that a sedentary male was 5 times more at risk than an active male. (Dr Steven Blair, 1988). The study also showed that between the active males there was a trend that as the level of fitness increased the risk reduced. It has been ascertained by the above study that a sedentary lifestyle puts an individual in greater risk of developing a condition that can lead to premature death. Besides fatality a lack of exercise can also have implications to one’s health while they are living. The following areas have been highlighted by the UK National Health Service as areas that leading an active lifestyle can improve, prevent or reduce an individual’s risk of falling victim to; weight control, heart disease and stroke, cancer, mental health, immune system. (NHS National Health Service, 2008). Obesity is defined as “very fat” (Oxford Dictionaries, 2008), however has been specifically defined as an individual with a BMI score of 30 plus (National Institue of Health, 2008). The following table shows the dramatic increase in the percentage of the population with obesity since 1960.
(Kopelman, 2000, p.637)
“A combination of a healthy diet and regular exercise is the best way to maintain a healthy body weight” (NHS National Health Service, 2008). The NHS (2008) also state that being overweight and obese leads onto various other health related problems such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and osteoarthritis. Exercise also has mental implications on an individual’s health. Dramatic changes have taken place as we have emerged into the 21st century. There have been radical shifts towards technology, life expectancy has increased thanks to advances in...