How Major Life Events Can Affect Physical Activity Levels

Woman Speaking To Physician Stressed

Throughout our lives, we experience numerous moments that interfere with our normal routine. Studies have shown that these events can significantly impact our day-to-day lives. One area that seems to be frequently impacted is our activity levels. If not addressed in a proactive manner, it can have a significant impact on our heart health. Acknowledging these events’ impact on our activity level has led to ongoing studies. Below we’re going to expound upon some of the events that have been shown to change activity levels.

Life Events That Can Impact Activity Levels

The importance of studying the levels of physical activity adults and children participate in cannot be understated. There has been a mounting epidemic of obesity in the United States. This is aggravated by the fact that only 20% of all teenagers and 24% of adults get enough physical activity each day. These numbers are consistently low across all available samples. However, there has been a noted worsening of these rates in those who have suffered significant life events. These events aren’t necessarily traumatic. However, they represent a change in that person’s life paradigm. Some examples include

  • Beginning a new career or their first job
  • Becoming married
  • Pregnancy
  • Retirement
  • Difficulties in parenting
  • Transition to a long-term care facility

These events tend to upend the habits and traditions of an individual’s life. The ability to participate in these habits, such as daily visits to the gym, is often impacted. There may also be a notable impact on their social activities. Even indirectly, many social gatherings increase the amount of physical activity an individual gets. Other life factors have been shown to influence the level of activity individuals to engage in.

  • Limited educational background
  • Poor access to safe outdoor areas to engage in physical activity
  • Motor coordination
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Poor body image
  • Real or perceived barriers to participation

Their parents’ level of education influenced the weight and physical activities of those under 18 years of age. Those in communities with high crime rates, poor access to school programs, limited recreational facilities, and walkable areas also showed reduced activity levels. What can be done with all of these barriers influencing an individual’s ability to engage in physical activity?

How To Improve Your Physical Activity Levels

There are abundant ways to improve the amount of activity level you do each day. However, underneath all of these options lay the core issue. You must commit to improving your health and life by engaging in greater physical activity. There is no need for a gym or the related equipment. Instead, you can reference the numerous websites and social media channels (Such as YouTube) that provide instructional videos and guides. You can also join community groups like MyFitnessPal and other physical fitness resources. Many of these sources are free and can provide significant options for engaging in physical activity at home. They can also provide important resources for improving the activity level that you may not have considered.


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Linda Clark, NP

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