3rd Edition

Physical Activity and Health The Evidence Explained

    566 Pages 195 Color & 13 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    566 Pages 195 Color & 13 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    566 Pages 195 Color & 13 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Physical Activity and Health explains clearly, systematically and in detail the relationship between physical activity, health and disease, and examines the role of exercise in the prevention and management of a wide range of important conditions.

    Now in a fully updated and expanded third edition, this is the most complete and engaging textbook on the subject. It offers a balanced examination of the latest evidence linking levels of physical activity with the risk of mortality, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, obesity, cancer, osteoporosis and dementia. Designed to help the reader evaluate the quality of the evidence, the book includes an invaluable discussion of common study designs and the inherent difficulties of measuring physical activity. It examines the evidence in relation to child and adolescent health, older adults, hazards of exercise, sedentary behaviour, public health policy and, in a new chapter, mental health, and an epilogue considers the emerging evidence regarding the significance of physical activity and COVID-19.

    Containing chapter summaries, study tasks, guides to supplementary reading, a glossary of key terms and an abundance of figures and tables, Physical Activity and Health is an essential course text, and important reading for undergraduate, masters and postgraduate research students of sport and exercise science, public health, physical therapy, medicine and nursing.

    This third edition is supported by an updated companion website featuring self-test questions, PowerPoint slides, learning activities and website links.

    Part I: Assessing the evidence

    1. Introduction

    David J. Stensel 

    2. The nature of the evidence

    Jason M.R. Gill 

    3. Physical activity and mortality

    Jason M.R. Gill 

    Part II: Influence of physical activity on the risk of disease 

    4. Cardiovascular disease

    Stephen F. Burns 

    5. Type 2 diabetes

    Jason M.R. Gill

    6. Obesity

    James A. King

    7. Cardio-metabolic risk factors

    Kevin Deighton

    8. Cancer

    Adrianne E. Hardman and Fehmidah Munir

    9. Skeletal health

    Katherine Brooke-Wavell and Adrianne E. Hardman

    10. Mental health

    Clare Stevinson

    Part III: Physical activity in youth and old age

    11. Child and adolescent health

    Alice E. Thackray

    12. Ageing

    David J. Stensel

    Part IV: Physical activity  risks and opportunities

    13. Hazards

    Adrianne E. Hardman

    14. Public health

    Marie H. Murphy and Adrianne E. Hardman



    David J. Stensel is Professor of Exercise Metabolism and Associate Dean for Research in the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences at Loughborough University, UK. He is also the Lifestyle Theme Lead for the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Leicester Biomedical Research Centre and Associate Editor for the International Journal of Obesity

    Adrianne E. Hardman is Emeritus Professor of Human Exercise Metabolism at Loughborough University, UK. She has over 30 years’ experience in university teaching and research, has published widely, given invited lectures in many countries, and has contributed to the development of guidelines on physical activity in the UK and in North America.

    Jason M.R. Gill is Professor of Cardiometabolic Health at the University of Glasgow, UK. He leads an active multi-disciplinary research group investigating the effects of physical activity and wider lifestyle on the prevention and management of vascular and metabolic diseases. He is also Director of his university’s MSc in Sport and Exercise Science and Medicine.

    "Physical Activity and Health has become a classic in our field, edited by three highly respected international scholars in David, Adrianne, and Jason. This expanded edition, with support from further experts, confirms its place as the leading book on this topic. Coverage of epidemiological foundations linking physical activity with health, the key chronic health conditions affected by physical inactivity, as well as different age groups and issues, are all covered in a clear and engaging style with excellent illustrations. It’s my ‘go to’ text for understanding how physical activity affects our health status."

    Professor Stuart Biddle, Director, Centre for Health Research, University of Southern Queensland, Australia


    "This book is a great read for anyone who is looking to develop their breadth and depth of understanding about topics related to physical activity and health. It draws together information in an accessible and interesting way. The updated focus of the book makes it very relevant to every day contemporary issues in physical activity and health."

    Amanda Daley, Professor of Behavioural Medicine, Loughborough University, UK


    "I am delighted to see that an updated and expanded third edition of this marvellous book has been published. This is an essential text for anyone interested in understanding how physical activity improves health. It is unique in the way that it cuts through the complexities associated with the underlying evidence to provide a coherent and insightful picture of contemporary understanding."

    Dylan Thompson, Professor of Human Physiology, Department for Health, University of Bath, UK


    "This is the core textbook for our M.Sc in Physical Activity for Health and the third edition is most welcome. Chapters and study tasks have been expanded and some new topics, such as mental health, added. There is an important epilogue on the topic of the global pandemic of COVID and the implications for physical activity.  Written by a distinguished team of authors led by three giants in this field, it is a go to text for understanding the relationship between physical activity and health."

    Professor Nanette Mutrie, Director of Physical Activity for Health Research Centre, University of Edinburgh, UK