Physical Activity and Health: The Evidence Explained, 2nd Edition (Paperback) book cover

Physical Activity and Health

The Evidence Explained, 2nd Edition

By Adrianne E. Hardman, David J. Stensel


340 pages

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pub: 2009-05-18
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Physical Activity and Health explains clearly, systematically and in detail the relationships between physical activity, health and disease, and examines the benefits of exercise in the prevention and treatment of a wide range of important conditions.

Now in a fully updated and revised edition, and still the most complete and engaging textbook on this important subject, Physical Activity and Health offers a balanced examination of the very latest evidence linking levels of physical activity with disease and mortality. It offers a wide-ranging assessment of the importance of inactivity as a factor in major diseases and health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer and osteoporosis. The book is designed to help the reader evaluate the quality and significance of the scientific evidence, and includes an invaluable discussion of common study designs and the inherent difficulties of measuring physical activity. It also explores the full range of contemporary themes in the study of exercise and health, such as the hazards of exercise; exercise and the elderly; children’s health and exercise; physical activity and public health policy; and a critical appraisal of current recommendations for physical activity.

Containing useful features throughout, such as chapter summaries, study tasks, guides to supplementary reading and definitions of key terms, and richly illustrated with supporting tables, figures and plates, Physical Activity and Health is an essential course text. Now supported by a companion website featuring self-test questions, PowerPoint slides for lecturers, additional learning activities and web links, this book is vital reading for degree-level students of sport and exercise science, public health, physical therapy, medicine and nursing.

Visit the companion website for Physical Activity and Health at


'I wish I had had this textbook as a student – it would have made learning about the health benefits of physical activity much easier! By housing a comprehensive variety of topics in a single volume, the textbook is a wonderful resource for anyone, whether student or exercise or health professional, wanting to find out more about physical activity and health.' I-Min Lee, MBBS, MPH, ScD; Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School. Associate Professor of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health

'Drs. Stensel and Hardman have prepared an excellent second edition to their book on physical activity and health. The book is comprehensive, the literature review is extensive and up to date, and is well written. The book covers topics relevant to persons across the age range, from children to older adults. The closing chapter presents a strong rationale for the urgent need to incorporate physical activity policies and promotion into public health strategies.'Steven N. Blair, PED; Professor, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina. Former president of the American College of Sports Medicine

'Anyone who seeks to examine the body of evidence linking physical activity and health should consult this splendid book…At once authoritative and a pleasure to read, it is clearly the result of many years spent in research and teaching.' Professor Ronald J. Maughan; Secretary of the Nutrition Working Group of the International Olympic Committee

'This is an excellent text, which is much needed in the field of physical activity and health. The authors scrupulously examine the case for exercise with the most rigorous evidence from around the world. This makes the text a valuable resource for information about physical activity and health for students and established researchers worldwide.' – Professor Steve Bird, School of Human Movement, Recreation and Performance, Victoria University, Australia

'…one of the few books that sets down this evidence in a compact form suitable for an undergraduate readership. The writing is clear…' Roy J. Shephard, Physical Education and Health, University of Toronto

Table of Contents

Part 1: Assessing the Evidence 1. Introduction 2. Nature of the Evidence 3. Physical Activity and Mortality Part 2: Influence of Physical Activity on the Risk of Disease 4. Cardiovascular Disease 5. Type 2 Diabetes 6. Obesity 7. Metabolic Syndrome 8. Cancer 9. Skeletal Health Part 3: Physical Activity in Youth and Old Age 10. Children’s Health 11. Ageing Part 4: Physical Activity: Risks and Opportunities 12. Hazards 13. Public Health

About the Authors

Adrianne E. Hardman is Emeritus Professor of Human Exercise Metabolism at Loughborough University, the UK’s leading centre for sport and exercise science. Adrianne has over 25 years of university teaching experience, has published widely and given invited lectures in many countries, and has contributed to the development of guidelines on physical activity in the UK and in North America.

David J. Stensel is a Senior Lecturer in Exercise Physiology at Loughborough University and was formerly a lecturer at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. An experienced teacher and researcher, David has also given invited lectures in the UK and overseas.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Physical Education