University Of Tasmania

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The current global state of movement and physical activity - the health and economic costs of the inactive phenotype

Physical inactivity is one of the major contributing factors to the global pandemic of non-communicable diseases. Unfortunately, low levels of habitual movement and physical activity (PA) are seen in an increasing proportion of populations across low- and middle-income countries and high-income countries alike. This new normal - the inactive phenotype - is a significant contributor to multiple health and economic costs. Here we provide a brief historical overview of societal declines in PA, roughly consistent with major transitions in PA and nutrition in recent decades. This is followed by a synthesis of research evidence linking inactivity with poor health outcomes and prevention approaches needed to impact a perpetuation of poor lifestyle behaviors. A major focus of the paper is on the economic/health costs and the reduction of the inactive phenotype. In summary, we demonstrate that the consequences of insufficient PA are manifold, and if sustained, impact short and long-term health and quality of life, along with substantial economic costs.


Publication title

Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases








School of Health Sciences


W B Saunders Co

Place of publication

Independence Square West Curtis Center, Ste 300, Philadelphia, USA, Pa, 19106-3399

Rights statement

Copyright 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Overweight and obesity

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