The Importance Of Physical Activity

A look at adolescence and the trends that transition into adulthood

bildeChildhood Obesity Varvel, G. 2006

Post 2 : Mitchell Soames

Being an advocate for health and fitness I chose to research further into exercise and its effects on the physical and psychological, sharing the therapeutic impacts on ones livelihood.

Particularly interested in our youth, I saw to identify the patterns of laziness and lack of physical activity in early years compared to adulthood to reveal the relationship it has to health. This brought me to my first article written by a number of experts in health and nutrition ‘Physical activity and obesity in children’ published in 2011.

This article shares that,

“Physical activity and a healthy diet are the cornerstones of obesity prevention and management.” – Andrew P. Hills

Early lifestyle choices have the tendency to be maintained through to adulthood forming a strong link between physical, mental and social aspects of growth and development, helping to set a pattern of participation in physical activity across a lifetime. I acknowledge the link as I personally lived an active lifestyle and have friends that did during our adolescent years, have managed to continue heading into our adult life (for the majority).

Understanding that our younger years are quite crucial, I turned my interest into the educational systems (specifically elementary and secondary) I found a current article including Professor Andrew P Hills (who contributed to the first article) and other experts ‘Supporting Public Health Priorities: Recommendations for Physical Education and Physical Activity Promotion in Schools’, 2015.

This was a very informative source, which included the Comprehensive school physical activity program recommendations (CSPAPR) as shown.

Screen Shot 2016-08-15 at 10.12.51 pm

It is discouraging to see many of these recommendations aren’t followed or included in schools (speaking from past experience). A survey is referenced ‘Barriers to providing physical education and physical activity in Victorian state secondary schools’ 2010 which included 115 Australian secondary school PE teachers.

The crowded school curriculum and lack of facilities are the two most commonly cited barriers to student participation in Physical Education and Physical activity.

I found this to be so true from my experience, attending secondary school and studying PE, I remember the curriculum was so extensive that our PA classes were often cut short or left out due to time restraints. It always amazed me that there was so little time allocated to PA given the benefits far more important than most of the things taught at school.

For instance PA promotes cardiometabolic wellness, improves cognitive performance, and effectively aids in the prevention and treatment of a variety of health conditions, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes and other disorders of metabolism, neurological diseases, sarcopenia, osteoporosis, and cancer (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2008,Bouchard et al., 1990, Garber et al., 2011, Pate et al., 1995 and Stranahan and Mattson, 2012). I believe it is key to develop PA interests and skills from a young age to ensure a better chance at a richer healthier life both physically and mentally.


Varvel, G. 2006,  ‘Childhood Obesity’ Viewed 14 August 2016 <>


Hills A.P., Andersen, L.B., Byrne N.M. 2011 ‘Physical activity and obesity in children’ Vol. 45 no. 11 pp. 866-870.

Hillsa, A.P., Dengelb, D.R., Lubansd, D.R. 2015 ‘Supporting Public Health Priorities: Recommendations for Physical Education and Physical (…)’ Vol. 57, no. 4 pp. 368–374.


Obese, unbalanced and addicted to technology


What actually is healthy living? (Ahmed 2012)

Post one by Marie Good

I decided to focus my research on the topic of obesity and healthy living. I currently work in the health food industry and have always had an interest in healthy living and the consequences our ways of living have on the body and broader areas such as our social settings. To begin with I focused my research on secondary sources such as online newspaper; decided also that instead of isolating one particular area of healthy living and obesity, I would tackle a range of topics under this umbrella and work on analysing them at my current knowledge level.

The first article researched, ‘Tim Spector and the genetic epidemiologists view of nutrition and health,’ (Parnell 2016) was written by well-known health editor, Sean Parnell, for The Australian in May of 2016. This article covers opinions related to the increased amount of nutrition information readily available to the public, yet the paralleled confusion and therefore rejection of this information in response. Parnell argues this may be due to the corruption of big player food corporations funding advertising campaigns in deceptive ways to constitute and encourage their share growth in our competitive food market. His inclusion of research conducted by reputable sources, such as the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, the Australian Bureau of Statistics and Professor of genetic epidemiology, Tim Spectorassists the audience to believe his article is scientifically factual to a degree, however from those facts he creates arguments and conclusions of his own presumptions. The article refers quite heavily to Professor Spector and almost seems to entice the reader to purchase his latest book, making us think that his new information can broaden and assist our understanding of topics deeper than the basics, such as the role of microbiome in gut related functions. He goes as far to say this is the type of education that needs to be spread in schools. I do agree with some of the arguments proposed yet disagree with the use of one dominant source for information.

The second article (Williams 2016) by Tim Williams, chief executor of the Committee for Sydney, prominent United Kingdom political commentator and writer for the Sydney Morning Herald, discusses the restriction of walkable spaces in Sydney and blames this for the increase of obesity. Based mostly on opinion with little reference to research sources except two, Christopher Leinberg (land use strategist, developer and researcher) and SmartGrowth America (advocacy coalition for sustainable working and living communities), he argues that the price of real-estate developments and the demand for market share is downsizing the walkability of cities and creating what we know as city sprawl. He correlates a connection between economic and educational wealth of cities and their ability to retain walkable spaces, saying access to employment through transport costs offsets accommodation costs and that in order to increase walking in cities there needs to be a drop in real estate prices. He argues that those who live in expensive urban places can and will afford to walk or cycle for convenience of distance on their daily commute and are already of a higher socioeconomic status than those outside the city, who are forced to use transport as a way of access, thus widening the gap between socioeconomic status’ in Australia further. There is a lot of speculation in this article however William draws some interesting ideas about socioeconomic classes and the affordability of health and fitness.

Vanessa Brown, a Bachelor of Media graduate, Macquarie Radio and Nine Network producer, reports for, on obesity as an issue more prominent in English-speaking, third world countries regardless of the diet from other areas, such as France, that are known for their craft of fine cheese, wine and chocolate making (Brown 2016). She uses statistics collected by The Lancet, a UK medical journal, who have compared BMI increases over the last forty years between countries, to fuel her opinions and also heavily publicise the text, ‘French Women Don’t Get Fat,’ by Mireille Guiliano. It almost reads like a book advertisement because of this heavy reference. She does conclude, like in Parnell’s article, that a revised healthy living curriculum needs to be placed into the early childhood education system to change the future of healthy living and place a pause on this trend.

The fourth article (Robinson 2016) analysed is actually written by a practicing Australian general practitioner, Ann Robinson, who does not use speculation and bias in her article but states proven findings in regards to the way modern living can unbalance microbiome in the digestive system. Robinson starts out with sharing her knowledge of what microbiome are and how they protect us from disease, as well as other unwanted conditions, including mood swings, metabolic speed and the immune system. She also refers to Professor Tim Spector in regards to this potentially being the cause of weight gain in some while not in others partaking on the same diet. She uses her own practical knowledge and remains quite unbiased towards the topic. The article is very informative and states what is known to be true while also stating areas that are needing further investigations while providing rough time expectations for that. No bias seems to be presented here and is an informative article of value.

Posted in The Guardian by Jorge Armanet and supported by IBM Watson Health, is the first article I have discovered in support of the latest portable phone application craze, Pokemon Go (Armanet 2016). It covers the idea that gamers, a portion of society known previously for their couch potato nature, are now swapping their slippers for joggers and hitting the pavement to play the game. Armanet refers to previous applications such as, Couch to 5k and NHS Weight Loss, who are seeing people take to their forum rooms about how successful Pokemon Go has been at getting them off the couch and moving. I agree with the fact that it is encouraging physical activity to some degree, yet feel that it is also negatively impacting society on a mental level, with a lack of personal connection becoming a broader issue due to technological intervention. I agree with Armanet as he goes on to say the technology presented in Pokemon Go is a prime example of greater things to come in using technology for societal and personal health/development matters instead of making us lazy, unhealthy and unhappy; which appears to be the trend of current technological interaction within our daily lives.

Through the analysis of these five articles and areas of insight they have uncovered, I would like to research more into the ideas presented by Professor Tim Spector in regards to the influence and interactions of modern daily lifestyles towards our gut health and microbiome. I would also like to explore opinions regarding the emergence of traditionally unhealthy technology systems or augmented reality being altered through collaboration to change our way of interacting with healthy living attitudes and habits. Another area I am interested in exploring is the influence the cost of living has in the gap between sociology economic classes such as the convenience of access, through price and location of health food and healthy living activities.

Reference list

Ahmed, B. 2012, unknown image,, viewed 15 August 2016, < >.

Armanet, J. 2016, ‘Could Pokemon Go improve people’s health?’, The Gaurdian, 27 July, date viewed 2 August 2016, < &gt;.

Brown, V. 2016, ‘Study shows that while the world gets fat, the French are staying thin’,,  1st April, date viewed 31 July 2016, < >.

Parnell, S. 2016, ‘Tim Spector and the genetic epidemiologists view of nutrition and health’, The Australian, 13 May, date viewed 1 August 2016, < >.

Robinson, A. 2016, ‘Is your gut making you sick?’, The Guardian, 1 August, date viewed 2 August, < >.

Williams, T. 2016, ‘Sprawling Sydney makes it hard to walk and it’s bad for our health’, Sydney Morning Herald, < >.