The WHO defines health as a “state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity” . Scientific evidence has shown the major beneficial effects of physical activity on all three aspects of health . Numerous physical, mental, and social health benefits of physical activity are presented in Figure 2. The physical fitness and health status of children and adolescents may be substantially improved by regular partic-ipation in physical activity. Compared to their inactive peers, physically active children and adolescents have higher levels of cardiorespiratory fitness, muscular endurance, and strength. The well-documented health benefits include a reduced risk of obesity, more favourable cardiovascular and metabolic disease risk profiles, enhanced bone health, and improved mental health4,
Figure 2. Key health benefits of physical activity (adapted from Pedisic 2011)
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Table 1 health outcomes