Exercise and Activity (cont.)
In this Article
Common physical activity and fitness terms
Calorie: A measure of energy from food. (3,500 kilocalories of food energy = 1 pound of body weight). Also the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water 1° C (1000 calories = 1 kilocalorie). An interesting fact: When we see "Calories" on a food label it is actually measuring kilocalories
Cardiorespiratory fitness: (also called
aerobic endurance or aerobic fitness)
Exercise: Exercise is physical activity that is planned or structured. It involves repetitive bodily movement done to improve or maintain one or more of the components of physical fitness-cardiorespiratory endurance (aerobic fitness), muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility, and body composition.
Household physical activity: Household physical activity includes (but is not limited to) activities such as sweeping floors, scrubbing, washing windows, and raking the lawn.
Kilocalorie: The amount of heat required to raise the temperature of 1 kg of water 1° C. Kilocalorie is the ordinary calorie discussed in food or exercise energy-expenditure tables and food labels.
Leisure-time physical activity: Leisure-time physical activity is exercise, sports, recreation, or hobbies that are not associated with activities as part of one's regular job duties, household, or transportation.
The standard metabolic equivalent, or MET, level. This unit is used
to estimate the amount of oxygen used by the body during physical
Moderate-intensity physical activity: Moderate-intensity physical activity refers to a level of effort in which a person should experience:
Occupational physical activity: Occupational physical activity is completed regularly as part of one's job. It includes activities such as walking, hauling, lifting, pushing, carpentry, shoveling, and packing boxes.
Physical activity: Physical activity is any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that result in an expenditure of energy.
Physical fitness: Physical fitness is a set of attributes a person has in regards to a person's ability to perform physical activities that require aerobic fitness, endurance, strength, or flexibility and is determined by a combination of regular activity and genetically inherited ability.
Regular physical activity: A pattern of physical activity is regular if activities are performed:
Note: These are minimum recommendations, greater health outcomes can be achieved by doing additional types activities and/or increasing time spent doing activities.
Transportation physical activity: Transportation physical activity is walking, biking or wheeling (for wheelchair users), or similar activities to and from places such as: work, school, place of worship, and stores.
Vigorous-intensity physical activity: Vigorous-intensity physical activity may be intense enough to represent a substantial challenge to an individual and refers to a level of effort in which a person should experience:
Weight-bearing physical activity: Any physical activity that imparts a load or impact (such as jumping or skipping) on the skeleton.
Source: Centers for Disease Control
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2000 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Prevalence Data, 2002. Available at http://apps.nccd.cdc.gov/brfss/ Accessed December 19, 2002.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Youth risk behavior surveillance-United States, 2001. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 2002;51(SS-4):1-64.
Jones DA, Ainsworth BE, Croft JB, et al. Moderate leisure-time physical activity: who is meeting the public health recommendations? A national cross-sectional study. Archives of Family Medicine 1998;7(May/June):285-289.
Pate RR, Pratt M, Blair, SN, et al. Physical activity and public health: a recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American College of Sports Medicine. Journal of the American Medical Association 1995;273(5):402-407.
Pratt M, Macera CA, Blanton C. Levels of physical activity and inactivity in children and adults in the United States: current evidence and research issues. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 1999;31(11):S526-S533.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Physical activity and health: a report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, 1996.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Healthy people 2010: understanding and improving health. (2nd ed.). Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) 1996 & 1998. Active Community Environments. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2000.
Information in the "Getting Started" section was adapted from: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention & Cooper Institute for Aerobics Research. Personal energy plan-physical activity: steps for adding PEP to your life. Dallas: Cooper Institute; 1999. To order a printed copy, contact 800-635-7050, x-3230 or E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Physical activity and health: a report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion; 1996.
Last Editorial Review: 5/11/2006
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