The benefits of physical activity

The benefits of regular physical activity are extensive.

Evidence exists to show that regular participation in physical activity can reduce the risk of:

  • Coronary heart disease
  • Stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Osteoporosis
  • Obesity
  • Colon cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Falls and injuries from falls

Regular physical activity can also provide a substantial therapeutic role for adults and older people with the following conditions:

  • Coronary heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • Obesity
  • Osteoporosis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)


Physical activity also has a role in the management of:

  • Depression and anxiety
  • Dementia
  • Pain
  • Stroke
  • Back pain
  • Constipation

Social benefits include:

  • Empowerment
  • Opportunities to meet new people and develop friendships
  • Widening of social networks
  • Enhanced intergenerational activity between different age groups
  • Promotion of a more positive and active image of older people
  • Maintenance of caring skills
  • Provide opportunities for relaxation and enjoyment
  • A chance to let off steam and have fun

Further information:

For information on physical activity resources (e.g. posters/ leaflets) please contact the Health Improvement/ Community Development service resource library on 028 2563 5575 or email: healthpromotion2@norherntrust.hscni.net

Page last updated:04 February 2013