Recreation & Leisure: The effects on our world

A Study by 2005 Fall Christian Value in a Global Community Class

Physical Health






             “Just 30 minutes of moderate physical activity a minimum of three days a week has a great impact upon preventable diseases and enhanced quality of life.  But unfortunately, 54% of Americans are sedentary and only 24% exercise regularly, according to U.S. Public Health Service.  This inactivity is a major contributor to an increasing incidence of obesity, heart disease, hypertension and a host of other ailments that reduce the quality and quantity of life” (O’Brien 1). 



The purpose of this website is to explore the Physical Health affects of Recreation and Leisure on our world.  We will investigate this subject as subdivided into four main categories are seen below:


¨ Negative effects of inactivity

¨ Positive effects of exercise and fitness

¨ Recreation & Leisure's affects on children and youth

¨ Recreation & Leisure and the elderly



¨ Negative effects of inactivity


An inactive lifestyle can have major health risks for many individuals It is recommended that an individual works out 3 to 5 days a week for at least 30 minutes a day. Yet, many Americans never reach this recommended level. According to the Surgeon General…more than 60% of adults had not achieved the recommended amount of physical activity, and 25% were not physically active at all (Hoeger, 12). This lack of physical activity is due to such factors as modern-day technology, lack of motivation, and demanding lifestyles. However, physical inactivity, no matter its cause, has been linked to various illnesses and diseases.

Hypokinetic diseases are those illnesses that result from a sedentary lifestyle. A more common term used to describe these types of illnesses are chronic diseases. These sicknesses include obesity, hypertension, type II diabetes, osteoporosis, and many others. Another branch of diseases caused by physical inactivity are known as cardiovascular diseases. These include coronary heart disease, heart attacks, atherosclerosis, strokes, and congestive heart failure. Sicknesses like these have affected the mortality rate in the United States. In 2004…the actual deaths from poor diet and physical inactivity increased by 1/3 from 300,000 to 400,000 individuals annually (Lees, 448). It is also important to note that there negative effects that come from exercising. These consequences are injuries from overtraining, accidents and other external variables, high-impact exercises, and not exercising properly.


¨ Positive effects of exercise and fitness


Many affects of living a healthy lifestyle are very apparent and are seemingly common sense.  In “Physical Fitness and Changes in Mortality: The survival of the Fittest” Erikssen gives a good summary of just some of the positive effects of a Physically healthy lifestyle “A high level of physical activity, necessary to maintain high fitness, has favourable effects on serum lipids, fibrinolysis, glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity, platelet function, blood pressure, autonomic nervous system function, myocardial electric stability, endothelial function and endothelium-dependent vasodilation in coronary arteries, and the immune system”. (Erikssen, 572)  Most of this is just a scientific way of saying that with regular physical activity one can live healthier and have a better chance at longer life.

             There are strong correlations between exercise and active lifestyles and ones health, in particular ones cardiac health.  Because cardiac health can be a major concern with poor health it is a good point of study within this discussion.  First of all, there is a opposite correlation that is very strong between ones activity level and long term cardiovascular and all-cause mortalities.  A high level of physical fitness is also associated with favorable cardiovascular risk factors. (Erikssen, 573)  High levels of physical activity can be associated with numerous other positive affects on ones physical well-being along with cardiovascular system.  Fitness can improve everything from ones respiratory system to once flexibility and athletic abilities to improved immune system to blood pressure being lowered. (Hoeger, 10)  All of these positives are direct affects of ones fitness level and it is easy to see how all these factors can be influenced.


¨ In Childhood


             Habits are created at a very young age, both good and bad.  For that reason, it is essential to begin teaching children good habits such as eating right and exercising.  Obesity occurs when too many calories are taken in combined with little or no physical activity.  Today, almost one in three children is obese in the United States.  These numbers are staggering but are not restricted only to the U.S.  This phenomenon is occurring in alarming rates in Australia, China, and Europe as well.

             Physical fitness has a wide range of benefits specifically for children such as more energy, greater attention span as well as decreased chance of type II diabetes, some cancers, gallbladder disease, and heart disease later on in life.  Parents can help children be more physically fit by encouraging less television watching, walking to school, and setting a good example by engaging in physical activities and including the entire family.

             Another method of encouraging youth to participate in more physical activity is providing opportunities in schools.  Providing a wide range of nontraditional as well as traditional activities in physical educational classes that are interesting and fun for children will help them maintain their fitness throughout life.  Keeping fitness fun is the key to success with children because they are engaged, willing, and more likely to continue exercising throughout their lives.


¨ The Elderly


Recreation is a vital aspect of the local and global community, for people of all ages and backgrounds.  Specifically, recreation can be examined as a physically nourishing and healthful part of life and being a senior citizen is no excuse to not participate in recreational activities.  Recreation is not just for the young, but also the young at heart.  There are numerous physical health benefits for elderly individuals to take advantage of by actively participating in a variety of activities.  Exercising does not have to be difficult or boring for the elderly individual.  Instead, recreational activities can provide fun and unique opportunities for physical health maintenance and improvement.

Elderly individuals who regularly exercise (at least 3 times per week, for 30 minutes each session) can maintain or even improve their aerobic capacity, heart health, muscle strength, endurance, and flexibility.  All of these health benefits not only leave the person feeling younger and more vibrant, but also help to reduce disease, lengthen life span, and allow the elderly individuals to maintain independence by staying strong enough to perform their own activities of daily living.  Health care costs are drastically cut and the elderly individuals are able to continually contribute to society in numerous ways as their health remains in an optimal state.

In order to maintain and improve health, elderly individuals can participate in a variety of numerous recreational programs or activities.  The beauty of recreation is that exercise and strength and flexibility training can be found in almost any activity, such as cooking, arts and crafts, nature hikes, bicycling, yoga or stretching sessions, and shopping trips.  Each of these activities works to maintain or improve a different part of the body, whether it be the aerobic system, muscles, or overall endurance and flexibility.  For example, cooking or arts and crafts are both great ways to improve flexibility and strength, while nature hikes or shopping trips boost aerobic capacity and lead to better flexibility and endurance.

Elderly individuals will surely benefit from active participation in a variety of recreational activities, staying physically fit while having fun and living longer.  However, a word of caution should be included when encouraging elderly individuals to begin an exercise routine or participate in a recreational activity: while moderate amounts of exercise at an easy or intermediate level is beneficial for health, too much exercise or too high a level of energy output will actually have a negative effect, becoming detrimental to the elderly individual’s health.  Risk of injury, disease, or death from complications become possible, thus diminishing the need for recreation in the first place.  When participated in appropriately, recreation can be one of the best aspects of life that an elderly person pursues.  Staying consistent with weekly exercise routines or special activities can increase functioning capacities and lengthen life span, as well as allow an elderly person to remain independent and decrease pain and disease in the later years of life.

Hoeger, Werner W.K. Fitness and Wellness. 5th edition. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning, 2002.


Lees, Simon J. “Sedentary Death Syndrome”. Canadian Journal of Applied Physiology.Vol. 29 Issue 4 (Aug 2004). Academic Search Premier. EBSCOhost. Bluffton University Technology Center, Bluffton, OH. 24 October 2005. <>.


O’Brien, Eric.  “Improving the Quality of Life: Promoting the Health Benefits of Recreation.”  Parks and Recreation.  July 1996.  15 November 2005.



Erikssen, G. “Physical Fitness and Changes in Mortality: The survival of the Fittest”. Sports Medicine.  Jun 2001, Vol. 31, Issue 8. p. 571-576
























Biography & Citation

Above more information is give about health and Recreation & Leisure in a handy Power Point