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date: 25 March 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The main purpose of the research discipline of physical activity epidemiology is to study the causal relationship between physical activity, or a lack of physical activity, and health. This chapter begins by explaining the importance of studying this relationship. The chapter then provides some information on the methods used to study and interpret the relations between physical activity and health. The next section of the chapter provides an overview of the scientific evidence on the relationship between physical activity and several health outcomes, including mortality, cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis, mental health, and functional health. Examples from historical and contemporary studies are used to highlight key relationships. The chapter concludes by discussing how the research findings are translated into public health recommendations on the appropriate volume, intensity, and type of physical activity required for good health.

Keywords: epidemiology, physical activity, surveillance, population health, sedentary behavior

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